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05.12.2019 Business & Finance

Foreigners Shops Still Locked Despite Akufo-Addo’s Plea

By News Desk
Foreigners Shops Still Locked Despite Akufo-Addo’s Plea
LISTEN DEC 5, 2019

Hundreds of foreign-owned shops that were locked up by the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) on Monday at Tip-Toe lane near the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange still under lock and key even after President Akufo-Addo's pleas.

The shops were locked up by GUTA in an effort to get foreigners to exit Ghana's retail space.

The local traders are upset that the government is not implementing the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre Act 865 which restrains foreigners from engaging in retail trade.

President Akufo-Addo had admonished GUTA not to take the law into their hands.

But when Citi News visited the area on Wednesday, the Nigerian shops were still under lock and key with the traders standing idle, with some engaging in conversations.

For the Ghanaian traders, their shops were opened with daily trading activities ongoing.

Nana Addo's plea

Before the President's plea, GUTA said its members will replicate Monday's action nationwide if the government fails to heed to their calls.

But the President urged the leadership and membership of the union not to take the law into their own hands.

He, however, admitted that the law favoured GUTA's position.

“It is the State that interprets how the laws should be applied. People cannot take the law into their own hands and purportedly seek to enforce it. If we tread on that line, Ghana will become ungovernable.”

Reason for GUTA's actions

The law, in section 27 (1) of the GIPC 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 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.

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The President of GUTA, Dr Joseph Obeng

But the government has not been enforcing the law and instead leans towards diplomacy in handling the resulting tensions.

Tensions have led to local traders locking up shops of foreign traders among other clashes.

The most intense tensions have been at the Opera Square Market, where foreign traders' shops have been locked up on multiple occasions.

Other attempts at the enforcement of the law sparked confusion in Suame Magazine in Kumasi leading to the shops of some Nigerian traders being ransacked with threats of further violence.

---citinewsroom

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