Business News of Saturday, 29 September 2018
Traders at the Suame Magazine in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region say they will not back down on their decision to restrain foreigners from engaging in retail business within the enclave.
According to the traders, they are not against foreigners engaging in lawful business but will drive out those flouting the laws regulating retail trade in the country.
The traders, therefore want the government through the Ministry of Trade and Industry, to work at sanitizing the retail sector.
“The institutions have failed us; they have failed us big time. Can you imagine someone registering with VAT and not filing their returns for almost two years? If this happened to a Ghanaian what will they say? All we are saying is that they have rules and regulations.
“They should comply with the laws because even our President is not above the laws of the land so all that we are saying is they should go by the rules of this country. All traders should keep the fire burning.”
“To the extent that sometimes when someone wants to buy from a Ghanaian trader, these Nigerian guys will approach them and say “I would have given you a much lesser price” that is why we are agitating because we do not need them in this country. The last time there was a conference, they said so many things that were never true. This warning goes to retailers. They think we are insignificant,” another trader said.
A visit to the Suame Magazine revealed that some shops belonging to Nigerian traders had been opened for business. The shops were locked after a task-force from the Ministry of Trade visited the enclave to inspect their documents.
Following a new directive from the Ministry, some Nigerian traders have opened their shops while others shops remain locked.
Some of them who spoke to Citi News say they are ready to comply with laws regulating the sector. They say they are peacefully co-existing with their local counterparts.
Meanwhile, some local traders in the enclave who tied red bands amidst chants, are unhappy about Government’s failure to enforce laws regulating the retail sector.
According to 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.
National Deputy Secretary for the Ghana Union Traders Association (GUTA), Emmanuel Nana Opoku Acheampong, says the laws regulating the retail sector must be enforced fully.
“All the shops are operating and operating effectively. Nothing has happened to them; Ghana is a unified state that brings people together. It is not in anyway our intention as traders to frustrate or prevent people from participating in the business that we do but in the country we have laws, and per the GIPC laws, every trader in Ghana has to pass through the process but what we see here is complete lawlessness.
“As Ghanaians, we are being governed with rules and regulations. We cannot allow our counterparts to intimidate. They are evading taxes, opening shops illegally, abusing our young women and they want to go scot free. We want the authorities to think about what these traders are doing.”
National Executives of GUTA insisted that foreigners will not be allowed to engage in retail businesses within the enclave.
The traders also say the locking of shops belonging to Nigerian traders has nothing to do with the death of a Nigerian woman who reportedly committed suicide.