Deputy Trade Minister Robert Ahomka-Lindsay has asked Ghanaians in the diaspora to stop whining about conditions at home when they return to do business.
In the view of the minister, the diaspora community must understand that they do not have to see a minister or anybody in a top government position in order to engage in any meaningful business in Ghana.
"Nobody likes whiners, people that spend all the time whining really get on people's nerves. So stop whining; stop saying this doesn't work, that doesn't work; please, we know it doesn't work so stop whining all the time saying it doesn't work. If it worked, you probably won't be sitting there," Mr. Ahomka-Lindsay fumed at an event organized by the diaspora community in Accra.
He continued: "It is not always that when you have to make a decision you have to see the minister, the deputy or every head; what is this thing, where did it come from? Do you know how many people actually sit down and want to see the minister everyday; hundreds of them".
After the minister had spoken, a member of the returnees, yet to be named, appeared to have responded to the remarks in a similar fashion and tone.
"We came here to sit with the decision makers to help us formulate polices that will integrate us into the system, where are the decision makers, where are they, they are nowhere around here to listen to us.
" So now everything we talk about here is going to be second and third class, it is going to be washed down and whatever is left is going to be passed on to the decision makers. Everybody that comes in here has the attitude that 'I have got something better to do'. If you are a business person and you know that there is a constituency that has the biggest amount of money, most amount of expertise that you need into your business to make it work, I would have thought that you would spend more time with that constituency in order for them to do something. And this attitude and arrogance that we are whiners; really? Who travels 3000 miles to be a whiner, we could have be whiners from our constituency, we didn't have to come here to whine. So this attitude has got to change".
A video of the encounter between the minister and the diaspora community including the reaction to the minister's comment has gone viral on social media.