Osinbajo assures Nigerian traders in Ghana of Justice
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has assured Nigerian traders in Ghana that the federal government will ensure they get justice over the stiff business regulation imposed on them by Ghanaian authorities.
He gave the assurance on Tuesday evening during a meeting with representatives of the Nigerian community in Ghana on the challenges facing Nigerians living in the West African nation including the locking of hundreds of Nigerian owned shops.
A statement issued by his spokesman, Laolu Akande, in Abuja on Wednesday, said while responding to the issues raised by leaders of the Nigerian community at the meeting, especially the maltreatment of Nigerians by Ghanaian authorities, Osinbajo strongly affirmed the commitment of the Federal Government to deal with the issues, assuring them of justice.
He stated: “I will certainly convey the depth of your grievances to the President. I am sure that he will be deeply disturbed to hear that despite the assurances that he had received, (from the Ghanaian government) there are still problems and complications.”
The statement affirmed that many of the issues have been discussed at the highest levels with assurances of resolutions given.
The Vice President explained that the delay in resolving these issues may be due to bureaucratic bottlenecks which are generally a drag on government activities.
He added: “I look forward to getting the details and making sure that we are able to begin to resolve some of these issues as quickly as possible. But I think you must also recognize that generally speaking, governments tend to be very slow, processes are slow, bureaucracies are slow, but we will make sure that we do the very best we can to get you your rights so that at least you are dealt with justly.”
On efforts made in the past, he said: “I have followed closely developments here, and many of the incidents that you have described, I am already very familiar with. As a matter of fact, the President had asked that a review of all that had taken place to be done.”
“There have been direct communications between our President and President Akufo-Addo. Our President has spoken to him about this, he has made a formal complaint to him, and that conversation has been going on. What the Ghanaian government pledged to do, on three occasions, was that the shops will be reopened. In fact, I am a bit surprised that it has not taken place because my understanding was that, that was going to be done.
“So, I think what we need to do aggressively is to follow-up with the Ghanaian government and to see that these things are done.”
Continuing, Osinbajo said: “I am sure you are familiar with the fact that there was a meeting between the Minister of Trade and Industry of Ghana and a team led by our own Minister of Industry, Trade and Investments in Abuja. That took place on the 3rd of September, while the Rt. Hon. Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila was meeting with his counterpart here.
“Now, it is very evident from what you have said here that there is so much that had gone wrong over a long period of time and we really need to address these concerns in as detailed a manner as possible. And what I can say to you is that this is a matter that concerns the government very greatly…your welfare concerns us greatly.”
Osinbajo, however, urged all affected traders through their associations and leaders to submit a more detailed letter containing the number of affected shops and other relevant information that would enable the Nigerian government follow-up effectively their Ghanaian authorities.
Earlier, the First Vice President of the Nigerian Union of Traders Association, Ghana (NUTAG), Chief Kizito Obiorah and a publisher of an Online medium, Mr Destiny Austin Omon, presented copies of their petitions to the Vice President, calling for urgent intervention by the Federal Government.