11.12.2007 Business & Finance

We’re Not Fighting Nigerians – GUTA

By Daily Guide
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THE ACTING President of the Ghana Union of Traders Associations (GUTA), George Kweku Ofori has disputed claims that the group's recent protest rally held at the opera square was targeted at Nigerians.

He stated that it was to fight the activities of some foreigners who flout the trade laws especially retail trading.

According to him, “we as the umbrella body of indigenous traders, conducted thorough investigations to ascertain the truth before we petitioned the Parliamentary Select Committee on Trade and Industry to monitor and enforce compliance of the existing laws governing the retail trade in Ghana and consequently salvage our national economy from imminent collapse”.

The Acting President made this known at a press conference in Accra recently.

He said most foreigners including those from the sub-region, had subjected the country's business laws to all forms of abuses which if not checked immediately, would have a serious effect on the national economy.

“As traders, we travel to all parts of the world in our business transactions and we know what pertains in other parts of the world concerning laws and orders in business.”

He said the situation was different when it comes to this country, stating that things are done as if there are no laws governing trade, especially retail.

He however acknowledged the fact that some genuine foreign companies such as Koala, Somotex, Melcom, Lava and others have satisfied the national requirements and are doing their businesses without any hindrance.

However, there are some dishonest foreigners who think they can be intelligent and smart enough to outwit everybody in the country thereby registering to operate as free zone companies only to import and divert the goods to our local markets and retail them without paying taxes due the state, he said.

This behaviour, according to the acting president, explains the cheapness of their goods on the market.

Adding his voice, the President of the Abossey Okai Spare Parts Association, Joseph Paddy said they are not fighting foreigners, but rather they want government to review the investment code to conform to modern standards.

The current investment code states that a foreigner with a Ghanaian partner requires to produce $300,000 in cash or its equivalence in goods, and in addition, employ at least 10 Ghanaians.

By Linda Tenyah

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