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30.11.2007 Business & Finance

Nigerian traders protest application of law

The Nigeria Union of Traders Association in Ghana (NUTAG) has picked up issues with the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) over the closure of shops of some of its members in the country.

At a press conference in Accra Thursday, the General Secretary of NUTAG, Mr Jasper Emenike, expressed shock at the action by the GIPC, saying that the GIPC was preventing members of the association from doing legitimate business in the country and has consequently appealed to the government to investigate the matter.

The association further described the exercise as an affront to the ECOWAS Protocol which permits indigenes of member states to enter, reside and establish businesses in other member states.

However, Mr Osei-Yeboah, the leader of the GIPC team which closed down the shops, disagreed with that assertion. According to him, the exercise was carried out with a lot of caution, in a humane and fair manner and in compliance with the laws of the land.

He said last Wednesday's exercise was part of a national programme to stop foreign nationals who had not registered with the GIPC, adding that the "first phase of the programme happens to affect the shops of our Nigerian brothers".

"What we nave done will affect Italians, Germans, Indians, Chinese, Lebanese, Nigerians and all those who did not comply with the GIPC Act," Mr Osei-Yeboah stressed.

On the ECOWAS treaty, Mr Osei-Yeboah said the fact that it had been ratified did not mean that people should move in and do whatever was not permitted under the law.

He said every country had its own laws that people were expected to comply with and pointed out that there were some sections of Nigerians who had registered with the GIPC and wondered why a section had failed to do so.

On November 14, 2007, the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) and its allies organised a demonstration aimed at getting the Ghanaian Parliament to pass into law certain sections of the Constitution of Ghana which limited and forbade foreigners from exercising their right to freedom of trade and business transactions.