By Maureen Okon
The National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS) and the Nigerian Union of Traders Association in Ghana (NUTAG) on Thursday commended the Federal Government over its plans to evacuate Nigerians from that country.
The groups lauded the Federal Government at an Inter-Ministerial Committee meeting held at the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the inter-ministerial committee, comprises representatives of the ministries of labour, interior, trade and investment, foreign affairs, as well as the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiCDOM).
The meeting was Chaired by Zubairu Dada, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs.
NAN recalls that on Nov. 12, Nigerian traders in Ghana called on the Federal Government to evacuate them from Ghana.
In a Save-Our-Soul letter delivered to NiDCOM, the traders said they were seeking a secure and peaceful return to Nigeria.
The letter calling for the evacuation was endorsed by 753 traders in the two associations and delivered by a delegation led by the President of NANTS, Dr Ken Ukaoha.
Ukaoha, who led the traders to the meeting, expressed happiness and appreciation to the government for the concern it has shown for the welfare of Nigerian citizens in Ghana.
“We are glad and appreciative of the efforts put in by the Federal Government of Nigeria over the welfare of its citizens in Ghana who are our members.
“Then, in response to the appeal letter we sent to the president over the sufferings of our traders in Ghana, we have come to learn that the government has evaluated the pros and cons of all our appeals.
“Government has also decided to respond and the response is so positive to us in the sense that government is not leaving any stone unturned and also it will explore all available diplomatic and reciprocal means.
“And on the evacuation, government has also said it will respond to that after the Ghana general election.
“We are very comfortable with that decision. Therefore, we commend President Muhammadu Buhari and commend his administration for finding us worthy to be given such protection,” he said.
Ukaoha noted that a list 753 had been submitted to the government for possible evacuation and that the government was comfortable with the list.
“Every other thing starts after the Ghanaian election and we are good with government’s position.
“The list has traders and other business actors including their family members, who are ready to be evacuated,” he added.
Earlier, Dada had said that government had given the assurance that evacuation of its citizens from Ghana would commence after the Ghanaian general election on Dec. 7.
He said that every process had been perfected by government, and that government was looking holistically beyond evacuation. (NAN)