But for the timely intervention of the ECOWAS Parliament, many Nigerians would have been deported from Ghana, the Nigerian business community in Ghana has said.
The National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANT) and the Nigeria Union of Traders Association (NUTAG), Ghana, in a letter today to the ECOWAS Parliament Speaker, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, commended the parliament for intervening in "the threats and harassment" allegedly meted out by the Ghana's authorities on ECOWAS nationals living and doing businesses there.
The letter, jointly signed by NANTS President Ken Ukaoha and NUTAG Secretary-General Jasper Emenike, read in part:"It was based on this intervention that the government of Ghana announced the suspension of the implementation of the four-month ultimatum in relation to the planned closure of shops and subsequent deportation of Nigerian and ECOWAS traders in Ghana over the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre Foreign Investment Act, 1994."
Calling for the creation of ECOWAS regional markets in at least four different parts of the sub-region to assume the status and benefits of a free trade zone for the promotion of regional trade and made-in-West African goods and services, the associations said:
"We cannot wholly express our gratitude to God for making you a leader in ECOWAS at this time in history when the region is faced with several challenges. What could have resulted in crises, unrest and perhaps, diplomatic upheaval within the regional economic community has been averted through your most visionary leadership".
The associations also urged the parliament to eliminate all the factors mitigating against the practical integration of the region and adherence to relevant ECOWAS protocols.