The Vice President gave the assurance on Tuesday evening on 15th September 2020 during a meeting with representatives of the Nigerian community in Ghana. The meeting which held at the official residence of the Nigerian High Commissioner to Ghana was focused on the challenges facing Nigerians living in the West African nation including the locking of hundreds of Nigerian owned shops.
In a statement released by Osinbajo’s spokesman, Mr Laolu Akande “Despite the seeming delay in resolving the concerns of Nigerian traders regarding some stiff business regulation imposed by Ghanaian authorities, the Federal Government will ensure that affected Nigerians get justice, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.”
Responding to the issues raised by leaders of the Nigerian community at the meeting, especially the maltreatment of Nigerians by Ghanaian authorities, Prof Osinbajo strongly affirmed the commitment of the Federal Government to deal with the issues, assuring them of justice.
According to him, “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,” many of which have been discussed at the highest levels with assurances of resolutions given.
But the VP explained that the delay in resolving these issues may be due to bureaucratic bottlenecks which is generally a drag on government activities.
“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,” he assured the leaders and traders in the Nigerian community in Ghana who interacted with him for over an hour.
Referring to efforts made in the past and even recently to resolve the crisis, the Vice President 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 be done.”
In his words, “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, Prof. 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.”
The Vice President 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.
He said “perhaps it might be important if we have specific details of the shops that need to be reopened, so that we can check and say how many (I think that at some point we had a list of about 160 or so, shops). So, I think we should have a list with specifics so that even if we are told that something has been done, we can cross check and see to it that it has actually taken place.”
The Vice President then urged Nigerians living in Ghana to remain law abiding and to embrace peaceful coexistence, while adding that both governments would resolve the differences.