Ghanaian traders calls for resumption of closure of Nigerian-owned retail shops

The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) is calling for the resumption of closure of shops owned by foreigners but are not documented.

GUTA

GUTA is its latest statement appealed to the Committee on Foreign Retail Trade, to as a matter of urgency close down shops of undocumented foreign retailers.

GUTA’s resolution follows a move by the Nigerian Union of Traders Association in Ghana (NUTAG) to reject the special dispensation granted them by the Government of Ghana despite a series of diplomatic efforts by both Ghana and Nigeria Governments.

GUTA in a statement explained that in a joint committee meeting of Ghana and Nigeria, when the committee asked the leadership of the Nigerian traders to provide it with the data of their membership and other relevant documentation on their businesses to enable the committee to discuss the issue and make an informed decision in line with the committee's terms of reference, the Nigerian traders asked for time to produce the documents, which was granted.

At the meeting, however, the Nigerian traders failed to provide the needed information, and told the committee that they could not comply with the request of the joint committee.

GUTA’s statement noted that “this incongruous attitude of the Nigerian traders in Ghana is not only an affront but also a well-orchestrated ploy to frustrate the committee, State and people of Ghana”.

In recent times, there have been several encounters between Ghanaian traders and their foreign counterparts, especially Nigerians, over the involvement of the latter in retail business in Ghanaian markets.

GUTA have frequently confronted the Nigerian trading community in Ghana against retail trading in the Ghanaian markets.

This has led to closure of shops, protests and destruction of property.

The Nigerian trading community has time without number argued that the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) protocols allow free movement of goods and people across West Africa.

However, the ECOWAS protocols give foreigners space to transact business for only 90 days.

Section 28(2) of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre Act, 865, expressly outlines the conditions under which a person who is not a citizen can engage in trading activities.

It provides that a person who is not a citizen may engage in a trading enterprise if that person invests in the enterprise, not less than US$1 million in cash or goods and services relevant to the investments.

The Act further provides that “trading” includes the purchasing and selling of imported goods and services.

A further condition imposed on foreign enterprises that intend to engage in trading by Section 28(4) is that such an enterprise must employ, at least, 20 skilled Ghanaians.

However, Section 28(5) of the Act stipulates that the minimum foreign capital requirements to invest in Ghana, including for engaging in trading, do not apply to the foreign spouse of a citizen of Ghana to the extent that the foreign spouse is or has been married to a citizen of Ghana for a minimum period of five years continuously or holds an indefinite resident permit prior to registration of an enterprise, amongst others.

GUTA in its latest statement want Nigerian retail shops closed.

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