Nigerian traders seek review of Ghana’s retail laws

Nigerian traders in Ghana are calling for a review of Ghana’s trade laws, to complement already existing ECOWAS treaties that permit free trade among African economies.

Ghanaweb quoted the President, Association of Nigerian Traders in Ghana, Chief Chukwuemeka Nnaji, as saying that a review of existing trade laws in Ghana could help tone down “unnecessary tensions between foreign and retail traders.”

“I’m still surprised that the Ghanaian Parliament has still not amended the laws. Let that law be amended to suit the ECOWAS Trade Treaty. I think we have to change our minds. I believe there is an issue with misinformation which must be dealt with,” he argued.

Foreign retailers have been urged not to see recent confrontations on retail trade as xenophobic attacks. President of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), Dr. Joseph Obeng, says these confrontations are just actions by local retailers to preserve Ghana’s retail space.

GUTA is planning a mammoth demonstration against government in three months if it fails to enforce laws governing retail trade.

President of the Association, at a press conference held at the Central Business District (Opera Square), said, if government does not do as expected and the time comes for the demonstration, his members will not be stopped.

“We are going to declare the destiny day demonstration in three months, where all other laws will not be regarded if our pleas are not being noticed,” he said to the delight of the traders.

According to Section 27 (1) of the GIPC Act, a person who is not a citizen or an enterprise which is not wholly-owned by a citizen shall not invest or participate in the sale of goods or provision of services in a market, petty trading or hawking or selling of goods in a stall at any place.

The Ghanaian traders want this law which has been left a white elephant since its passage, to be enforced by the authorities. The GUTA President said, had these laws been enforced, foreigners will not flout them as blatantly as they have.

Meanwhile, the Accra Region Police Command has described the shutting down of shops belonging to foreigners by some Ghanaian traders as an act of vigilantism that is criminal and could lead to arrests.

Speaking to Joy Business on updates relating to meetings with the leadership GUTA and NUTA, Director of Operations, Superintendent Kwesi Ofori, said all feuding parties had been asked to exercise restraints.

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