The Nigerian Community in the Eastern Region has called the bluff of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) threats to lock down retail shops of Nigerians in the Region.
GUTA has served notice a taskforce will storm Eastern region on September 1st to 3rd, to close down shops of foreigners engaging in retail trade.
This follows agitation by the Regional Executives of GUTA who have threatened to take the laws into their own hands to deal with the Nigerians if their request is not heeded.
However speaking to Starr News, President of the All Nigerian Community in Eastern Region Rev. Paul Olabisi James, stated that “We’ve not received any notice from anyone though there may be speculations going round that the shops will be locked “.
He added that “but one thing I want you to understand is that the people who are doing that are matured, they are learned, they have also travelled wide and near and they know the right thing to do. If at all anything ought to be done I believe we being the leaders of the Nigerians need to be notified and again before the notice come up there should be a forum or reason why those things will be done”.
According to Rev. Paul Olabisi James, it is not possible therefore for GUTA to close any Nigerian shop in the Eastern Region since no Nigerian is operating retail business.
“If they say they want to start locking shops, fine, there may be need for documentation to be checked. There may be a need for issues to be looked into but not actually locking shops. It is not possible. I believe my Ghanaians, I know they will not do that”.
He continued “those who are owing shops, none of them is a retailer. They are all not going on retails. I can bet you because personally I have monitored their events. There is no shop of a Nigerian that have not lived up to expectation-is it their immigration documents, their passports, their residents permit and what have you. They pay all things they need to pay. The only thing is the GIPC which is the one million dollars”.
Section 27(1) of the Ghana Investment Promotion Center (GIPC) Act 865 generally lays out activities that foreign investors are not permitted to invest or participate in.These activities include 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 among others.
Section 28(2) of Act 865 expressly provides for the conditions under which a person who is not a citizen can engage in trading activities. The provision provides as follows:
A person who is not a citizen may engage in a trading enterprise if that person invests in the enterprise, not less than One Million United States Dollars in cash or goods and services relevant to the investments. Section 28(3) of Act 865 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 twenty (20) skilled Ghanaians.
According to Section 28(5) of Act 865, 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;vthe marriage has been duly verified as having been validly conducted; the foreign spouse is ordinarily resident in Ghana.