The Nigeria Union of Traders Associations in Ghana (NUTAG), on Monday decried members’ inability to celebrate Christmas in Nigeria because of the global second wave of COVID-19 pandemic.
The President, Mr Chukwuemeka Nnaji, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in a telephone interview that Nigerian traders living in Ghana celebrated this year’s Christmas on a low key.
Nnaji said: “Many of our members could not travel home, though some with very important programmes travelled and I can attribute it to fear of the second wave of COVID-19 globally.
“In recent COVID-19 update, the President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo, warned the Ghanaian public to adhere to the safely rules on the pandemic, especially on social distancing.
“Authorities have not opened the land borders here. Ghanaian government has not said anything concerning the opening of its land borders.
“For this reason, anyone who wished to travel home for Christmas celebrations had to cough out large amounts of money, before he or she can leave the Ghanaian shores.
“In fact, before you travel from Kotoka International Airport in Accra, you must pay 200 dollars or more,’’ he said.
Nnaji said most Nigerian traders decided to celebrate Christmas in Ghana because it was cheaper and moderate for them, while hoping that things would be better in 2021.
He said NUTAG was also waiting on the Nigerian government to intercede on member’s plight in Ghana over the closure of 40 shops owned by the traders a week before the Ghanaian general election of Dec. 7.
“This has brought the number of Nigerian shops shut by the Ghanaian authorities to about 300 as Ghana insists that Nigerian business owners in Ghana must have one million dollars as capital base.
“Therefore, 2020 has been a tough one for our members in Ghana; we now believe and hope on our government to come to our aid as promised earlier,’’ he said. (NAN)