Following the incident that led to the closure of some shops owned by some Nigerians, Nigeria’s Foreign Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, has mentioned that the results for the closure of the shops would be addressed within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) regional body.
The Minister while talking to Nigerian traders at a meeting said, the Nigerian government would prefer the matter being investigated by the ECOWAS since the closure of these shops is against ECOWAS protocols.
This comes after an exercise led by the Presidential Committee on retail trade led to the closure of over hundred retail shops belonging to foreigners at Circle.
According to reports gathered, the exercise led by the Presidential Committee and accompanied by the police started at 11:00am on Thursday August 13 started peacefully but later turned chaotic.
However, the Public Relations Officer of Ministry of Trade and Industry Prince Boakye Boateng explained that the Committee was only enforcing Section 27, Clause 1 of the GIPC Act 2013 (Act 865).
“We came here today to lock up shops, we did not come here to inspect legal documents. We have been here several times and when we came here earlier on, we asked them to ensure that they have complied with the necessary regulatory requirements. The business should have been registered at the Registrar General Department, we are also saying that if you are a foreigner and you are trading in this country you must have the necessary residence and work permit to be in this country. There must be proof that you have paid your taxes. You should prove that you have invested at least $1 million in your capital. So, if you don’t have that then it means that you are not part of this country,” he said.
However, Mr Onyeama has stated that the closure of the shops was against the ECOWAS protocols.
“We want this matter to be addressed at the shortest time possible. What is the point of having an economic community, if, at the end of the day, each country will just make a law and regulations that are in contradiction of that,” he added.