Ghana has declared its plans to flush out illegal immigrants in the thriving country, especially Nigerians and Chinese immigrants engaged in the retail business, the Daily Nation reported.
Foreigners are drawn to Ghana’s fast-rising economy, seeking jobs in the retail business and illegal gold mining, while others seek opportunities in the oil sector.
While some citizens from the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) fear that the new plans could foster xenophobia, Ghanaian authorities are set on removing illegal immigrants.
According to reports, the authorites will on June 30 implement its flush out plans, targeting immigrants in the retail business, adding that retail businesses are reserved for Ghanaians alone.
The Ministry of Trade has put in place a task force to implement the directive. Nigerian and Chinese traders who have set up shops in Accra city centre.
Ghana Immigration Service officials recently arrested two Chinese traders for engaging in commercial activities. On official argued that the arrests were “in line with the Ministry of Trade and Industry’s national policy to get rid of foreigners in the country’s retail business.”
Ghana Interior minister William Aboah has ordered for a full investigation into how the the illegal immigrants make it across the borders into the country.
“There is a growing perception and reports that the country is being flooded by illegal immigrants,” said Aboah, adding: “The issue of their entry into the country is being questioned. Some managed to acquire work permits through the back door while others continue to stay in the country illegally.”
Aboah argued that illegal immigrants posed a serious threat that could “undermine the security of the country”.
Some traders have complained about unfair treatment from overzealous authorities eager to rid the country of illegal immigrants.
“The Ecowas protocol is clear on citizens from the community and their rights of abode in member countries and, therefore, what the Ghanaians are doing border on xenophobia,” said Lucky Eze, a Nigerian trader.