The Ghana Union of Traders Association, GUTA, has called for the immediate closure of all illegal foreign-owned retail shops at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle in Accra.
GUTA says the shops were reopened by the presidential Committee on Foreign Retail Trade to inspect the documents of the owners and even though they do not meet the laws to operate their businesses, they have gone ahead to do so.
“We have been duly briefed by the Committee on Foreign Trade that over 90% of the foreigners have not met the requirements. Almost all ECOWAS trading members operating in the country are guilty of rules of origin as stated in the ECOWAS protocols, which means that they do not trade in the goods manufactured in their respective countries”.
“It must be noted herein, that Nigeria closed her borders citing the abuse of ECOWAS protocols with the rule of origin as their reason. ECOWAS traders who import from the outside the ECOWAS community, like all other foreign nationals trading in Ghana, can only trade after satisfying the GIPC conditions on retail trade in the country” GUTA said in a statement.
The statement continued “GUTA has been quiet and cooperative all this time just to allow the Committee on Foreign Retail Trade to execute it’s mandate as directed by His Excellency the President of the Republic himself. GUTA welcomes all genuine foreigners who abide by the laws of our country. We also welcome our neighbours from the sub-region (ECOWAS), who deal in goods manufactured in their respective countries. However, we wish to be categorical that we will not countenance anything in the contrary, and as a result, we demand the immediate closure of those shops to avoid any unfortunate situation, as tension is mounting on the matter” it warned.
Section 27 of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) Act 865, bars foreigners from engaging in retail business in Ghana.
Retail business is a space solely reserved for Ghanaians.
GUTA last year locked up over 600 foreign-owned shops in Accra causing tensions between the Association and especially Nigerian traders.