The Nigeria Union of Traders Association, Ghana is asking the government of Ghana to intervene in the closure of shops belonging to its members.
Members of the Ghana Union of Traders Associations (GUTA) have recently been locking up the shops of foreign traders as the union pushes for the enforcement of the GIPC law, Act 865.
Act 865 of the law gives specific provisions which relate to how persons who are not citizens can engage in trading, including retail trade.
Section 27(1) of the act states that any person who is not a citizen or an enterprise that is not wholly-owned by a citizen shall not invest or take part 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 president of the Nigeria Union of Traders Association, Ghana, Chief Chukwuemeka Nnaji, in a Citi News interview appealed to the government of Ghana to review the country's trade laws.
“We want the Ghanaian government to harmonise the GIPC law, in Act 865, sections 27 and 28 that says that foreigners should not engage in retail trade. As a matter of fact, Nigerian traders in Ghana are ECOWAS citizens– they are not really foreigners. But then, since it has been a stronghold that GUTA uses to terrorise us, if the government should be able to harmonise it to make it work inline or scrap it entirely, then we can have our peace to help and give Ghanaians the needed peace they need. In fact, we have done well these 20 years. We have not witnessed reprisal attacks in Nigeria.”
Our fight against foreign retailers continues unabated—GUTA
GUTA has said that it won't back down on its plans to embark on an exercise to close down foreign-owned retail shops.
The association gave the government an ultimatum to enforce the GIPC law and evict foreign traders who are involved in retail trade.
Even though the time for the ultimatum has elapsed, no action has been seen from the government.
However, GUTA has said, “It is never too late for those who are breaking the law or flouting it to mend their ways and leaving the market. It is never too late for the institutions who are mandated by law to start working.”