The Nigerian Government is deeply concerned by the incessant
harassment of its citizens in Ghana and the progressive acts of
hostility towards the country by Ghanaian authorities, and will no
longer tolerate such.
In this regard, the Federal Government is urgently considering a
number of options aimed at ameliorating the situation.
The Federal Government has been documenting the acts of hostility
towards Nigeria and Nigerians by the Ghanaian authorities. These
- Seizure of the Nigerian Mission’s property located at No. 10, Barnes
Road, Accra, which the Nigerian Government has used as diplomatic
premises for almost 50 years. This action is a serious breach of the
- Demolition of the Nigerian Mission’s property located at No. 19/21
Julius Nyerere Street, East Ridge, Accra, another serious breach of
the Vienna Convention.
- Aggressive and incessant deportation of Nigerians from Ghana.
Between Jan. 2018 and Feb. 2019, 825 Nigerians were deported from
- Closure of shops belonging to Nigerians. Over 300 Nigerians shops
were locked for four months in Kumasi in 2018; over 600 Nigerian shops
were locked in 2019 and, currently, over 250 Nigerians shops have been
- Residency Permit requirements, for which the Ghana Immigration
Service has placed huge fees, far higher than the fees charged by
the Nigerian Immigration Service. These include the compulsory
Non-citizen ID card (US$120, and US$60 for yearly renewal); Medical
examinations, including for Covid-19 which is newly-introduced (about
US$120), and payment for residency permit (US$400 compared to the
N7,000 being paid by Ghanaians for residency card in Nigeria)
- Outrageous stipulations in the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre
Act. When the Act was initially promulgated in 1994, a foreigner is
required to invest at least US$300,000 by way of equity capital and
also employ 10 Ghanaians. This Act has now been amended twice, with the
2018 GIPC Act raising the minimum capital base for foreign-owned
businesses to US$1m. Though targeted at foreigners, it seems GIPC’s
definition of foreigners is Nigerians. The GIPC Act also negates the
- Media war against Nigerians in Ghana. The negative reportage of
issues concerning Nigerians resident in Ghana by the Ghanaian media is
fuelling an emerging xenophobic attitude towards Nigerian traders and
Nigerians in general. The immediate fallout is the incessant
harassment and arrest of Nigerian traders and closure of their shops.
- Harsh and openly-biased judicial trial and pronouncement of
indiscriminately-long jail terms for convicted Nigerians. There are
currently over 200 Nigerians in the Nsawam Maximum prison in Ghana
The Federal Government will like to put on record the fact that even
though over 1 million Ghanaians are resident in Nigeria, they are not
being subjected to the kind of hostility being meted out to Nigerians
Also, Even though the main reason given for the seizure of Federal
Government property at No. 10, Barnes Road in Accra is the non-renewal
of lease after expiration, the Ghanaian authorities did not give
Nigeria the right of first refusal or the notice to renew the lease.
By contrast, the lease on some of the properties occupied by the
Ghanaian Mission in Nigeria has long expired, yet such properties have
not been seized.
Nigeria has time after time demonstrated its fidelity to the long
cordial relations with Ghana. But indications, especially in recent
times, are that Nigeria’s stance is now being taken for granted and
its citizens being made targets of harassment and objects of ridicule.
This will no longer be tolerated under any guise.
In the meantime, the Federal Government wishes to appeal to its
citizens resident in Ghana to remain law abiding and avoid engaging in
self help, despite their ordeal.
Alhaji Lai Mohammed
Honourable Minister of Information and Culture