The Regional Secretary of the Ghana Union of Traders Association, Nana Poku, has called on the President of Ghana, whose auspices the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre is under, to come out and support the charge of GUTA to stop illegal foreign retailers from operating in Ghana.
“GIPC is linked to the presidency. I will use this medium to call on the president to tell the populace whether he is for foreigners or he is for Ghanaians who voted him to power to serve us.”
The Regional Secretary of GUTA speaking on Eye on Port, live on national television, re-echoed his organisation’s resolve to ensure that the laws protecting local retailers are abided by, and foreigners illegally indulging in retail business discontinue their activities.
“The laws are explicit. It is telling Ghanaians that, that place or area is reserved for Ghanaians,” he stressed on.
He debunked all speculations suggesting that the Ministry of Trade is championing their drive to drive to push foreign retailers away.
Nana Poku emphasized that his organisation is currently focused on educating the foreign retail traders on Ghanaian laws to allow them make their decisions to abandon the trade peacefully.
“What we are doing right now is educating the foreign retailers with the laws of Ghana for them to leave the market peacefully. If they resist there are so many ways to handle the situation to save the name Ghana through non-violent means,” he said.
He said the foreign traders aside creating undue competition also sell inferior products which is at the detriment of the Ghanaian consuming public.
“I have evidence whereby instead of hospital supplies being given to Ghanaian companies it is being offered to Nigerian companies who are actually supplying these hospitals with fake products. I was present when we seized fake disinfectants and other products,” he revealed.
Earlier, the unionized groups of the Ghana Union of Traders Association, and the Ghana Electrical Dealers Association (GEDA), served a one-week ultimatum to the retail community of foreigners selling without permit in the Ghanaian market to vacate the country’s trading space, else they would be met with aggression.
The caution which was characterised with agitations according to the unionized groups follows an accumulated level of insubordination by foreign retailers in Ghana to the country’s laws which do not give room for non-citizens to do retail business in the Ghanaian market without permit.
“All these things we have been going up and down with the government over, it has come to nothing. At the moment what we are saying is that if the government cannot implement the GIPC Law 865 we the traders will implement the law for them,” Samuel Addo, PRO of GEDA said.Section 27(1) of Act 865 of the GIPC Law generally lays out activities that foreign investors are not permitted to invest or participate in including 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.
“That law has stated the category of businesses that are supposed to be done by us Ghanaians whereby foreigners cannot do those businesses. At the moment it is surprising that these same jobs are being taken by foreigners,” he lamented.
He accused these foreigners of trading in substandard products at low prices making it difficult for Ghanaians who trade in quality products to thrive.
“Foreigners have taken over the shops by bargaining for higher rates. They bring cheaper goods into the system to sell and they do not pay VAT or any other tax to the government,” he added.
The Public Relations Officer of the Ghana Electrical Dealers Association, Samuel Addo, cautioned the foreigners engaged in illegal retail business should stop doing business or they will be forced to abandon their trade.
“We have given them the ultimatum to close their shops and leave our markets,” he warned.