Trade Ministry Calls For Immediate Reopening Of Foreign Retailers Shops
The Ministry of Trade and Industry has directed that retail shops closed by the task-force on retail trade be opened “with immediate effect.”
This comes after consultations with the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), the Nigerian High Commission and other relevant stakeholders.
According to a statement from the Ministry, the directive is to “permit the various State Institutions and Agencies to carry out their lawful mandate of enforcing local laws and regulations, including those related to the operations of businesses in Ghana.”
The statement assured that the government will continue to ensure that “all businesses operating in the retail sector of Ghana are given the opportunity and support to regularize their operations and comply with laws and regulations in the country.”
The Ministry further urged the affected businesses “to contact the relevant state institutions to regularize their operations.”
The directive comes after some Nigerians staged a demonstration in Abuja to protest the perceived intimidation of Nigerian businesses in Ghana.
The protesters claimed that Ghanaian authorities have so far closed some 400 shops belonging to Nigerians. They went ahead to present their petition to the ECOWAS office in Nigeria, asking for their intervention.
But the Ghana Union of Traders GUTA, has denied the allegations from their Nigerian counterparts.
The Trade Ministry insisted that “there is no orchestrated action by government or any state institution targeted at Nigerian nationals or any particular foreign nationals.”
The Ministry also said it will “implement a comprehensive sensitization programme” to ensure collaboration among all stakeholders.
Per the GIPC law 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 government had made moves to enforce this law in recent times, but stressed that it needed to ensure some diplomacy in the matter.
There was a July 27 deadline for foreign retailers to leave, but it was suspended to ensure further sensitization.
The suspension was met with some criticism from the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), but the Ministry assured that the government is not reneging on its promise to sanitize the retail sector.