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03.12.2007 Business & Finance

Traders Strike Again

By Daily Guide

INFORMATION GATHERED by CITY & BUSINESS GUIDE indicates that traders in the Northern Region will embark on a demonstration to echo their petition to government that the foreign investor should not engage in retail business in the country.

The demonstration is purported to take place in Tamale in the Northern Region, and the Professional Traders Association (POTAG), which is a wing of Ghana Union of Traders (GUTA) is said to be the organizers.

The basis for the demonstration, according to POTAG, is to let government know that the situation was out of hand with markets and shops in that part of the country and other places such as Kumasi, Takoradi and Cape-Coast being seriously affected.

G. K. Ofori, President of GUTA, in an interview confirmed this but said his outfit was deliberating with executives of POTAG to forestall the demonstration.

“We are doing our best to prevent the situation but the whole thing is alarming because shops in Adum, Bantama and others have been engulfed by the foreign retail investors, which is killing our businesses,” he stated.

He emphasized, “GUTA was not singling out nationals of a particular country but only want the enforcement of the Ghana Investment Promotion Council (GIPC) Code, which requires foreigners wanting to do retailing in the country to employ 10 people and also pay $300,000 before they can do so,” asking, “How many of them adhere to this code?”

Reacting to claim's by Nigerian Traders that the ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Convention accords them the legitimacy to engage in retail business, he said, “Ghana is a sovereign state and thus its laws surpass any conventions.”

Mr. Ofori noted that to ensure a full implementation of the GIPC code, task forces would be inaugurated in all parts of the country.

It would be recalled that some weeks ago members of GUTA demonstrated in Accra with the intension of compelling government to enforce the GIPC code.

By Patrick Baidoo