By Henry UMORU
MOVED by the plights of Nigeria traders in Ghana, the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, Wednesday said the Federal government must be blamed for what they were going through.
According to the party, the recent Nigerian â€“ Ghana Trade Controversy which resulted in the sealing up of shops of Nigerians doing business in Ghana was in the first place very sad and unfortunate.
In a statement signed by the CPCâ€™s National Publicity Secretary, Dennis Aghanya in Abuja , CPC noted that in the WorldÂ over, governments generate revenue through such rates and taxes and such taxes were usually not aimed atÂ closing down peopleâ€™s businesses as the Ghanaian example had shownâ€™
It will be recalled that the Ghanaian government recently issued a new trade policy making it compulsory that all foreigners,[with Nigerians as the target], doing business in Ghana must pay a registration fee of $300, 000.00 or get their shops sealed.
Part of the statement read, â€œThe action is a simple way of telling somebody to politely leave their country. This is against the spirit of ECOWAS policy on free trade. Above all, Ghana is the closet ally of Nigeria within our sub-region. Such policies should be targeted against the developed countries who have continued to maintain their colonisation tendency both in the political and economic spheres.
â€œTheir argument is that such retail businesses by Nigerians have the tendency of throwing their business men and women out of jobs because they may not stand the competition. Rather, they want our people to concentrate on the Exportation of such goods to their country and allow their people to do the retailing.
â€œ A deep look into the Ghana governmentâ€™s position shows the level of concern it has over the plight of her citizens. The government is being protective of her citizens, which is her primary area of assignment.
â€œUnder this circumstance, the Nigerian government which has refused to create a suitable business environment for our people, even with excess crude revenue, is to be blamed.
â€œA trip on our federal high ways will make you shed tears. The last time these major high ways were re-habilitated was the Major General Muhammadu Buhariâ€™s PTF days. On daily bases, heavy trucks conveying goods are usually falling on the roads because of the poor state of our roads.
â€œThe power generating system is in shambles. Industries have to resort to alternative source of generating power which ends up adding to their overheard cost.
Citizens have to turn themselves into local governments because they have to sink bore holes, buy generators and does community work to maintain their only access road.
â€œOur governments on their own side, areÂ concerned with the revenues they will generate from the small scale business of the common man.
They suffocate such business with multiple taxes and rates. In Abuja the federal capital territory, Local Government Agents now occupy most of the roads in the name of collecting rates. Vehicles conveying food items now pay rates, in addition to emblem/stickers, radio etc. Shops owners on their part are forced to pay business premises levy, environmental levy, tenement rate, liquor license (for those doing liquor business), signboard levy and all sorts of levies.