GUTA calls for immediate closure of shops being illegally operated by foreigners

The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), has called for the immediate closure of retail shops being operated illegally by foreigners at Circle in Accra to prevent a possible clash between them and the traders.

GUTA in a statement issued in Accra yesterday and signed by its president, Dr Joseph Obeng said the flouting of ECOWAS protocols and the country’s laws by the foreigners was creating tension in the retail industry.

“We welcome all genuine foreigners who abide by the laws of our country. However,  we wish to be categorical  that we  will not  countenance  anything  in the contrary  and as a result , we demand immediate closure  of those shops  to avoid  any unfortunate situation,  as tension  is mounting on the matter,” it said.

The statement said about 90 per cent of the traders had not met the ECOWAS requirements per records of the Committee on Foreign Retail Trade but they had opened their shops which were closed by the committee some months ago.

GUTA alleged that all the traders from ECOWAS member states operating in the country were guilty of the rules of origin as stated in the ECOWAS protocols, which meant that they did not trade in the goods manufactured in their respective countries.

“We hereby want the authorities and the general public to note that these recalcitrant foreigners have taken the laws of our country into their own hands with impunity while the authorities look on unconcerned,” it said.

The statement recalled Nigeria’s closure of her borders citing the abuse of ECOWAS protocols with the rule of origin as their reason to drum home the need  for Ghana to also enforce its laws.

Per the protocols, it said, ECOWAS traders who imported from outside the ECOWAS community, like all other foreign nationals trading in Ghana could only trade after satisfying the Ghana Investment Promotion Corporation (GIPC) conditions on retail trade.

GUTA said its silence and cooperation for some time now was to allow the committee on Foreign Retail Trade to execute its mandate as directed by President Nana Akufo-Addo thus it should live up to expectation.

It is recalled that GUTA closed down shops belonging to foreigners in Accra and Kumasi for operating illegally, following which the trade committee was set up by the government to address the issue.

The shops remained closed for months until some of them were recently opened.


Show More
Back to top button