Law barring foreigners from retail trade unenforceable – Lawyer

Law barring foreigners from retail trade unenforceable – Lawyer
Source: Ghana | | Oswald Azumah|
Date: 22-06-2019 Time: 02:06:28:pm
Justice Srem Sai believes the GIPC law is not enforceable

A lawyer and lecturer at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) has faulted the law barring foreign nationals from engaging in the retail market in the country.

Justice Srem Sai said Section 27 of the Ghana PIC Act 865 is among a certain group of laws that just cannot be enforced.

He told host Evans Mensah on Joy FM/MultiTV’s news analysis programme, Newsfile, Saturday that once Ghana has signed on to be part of some international organisations like the ECOWAS, it must respect the aims of such organisations.

Subsequent governments have come under heat from local retailers for their failure to crack the whip on foreigners on the retail market.

Retail traders in the Ashanti Regional capital and even in Accra have accused foreigners, Nigerians especially, of engaging in retail trade, contrary to Section 27 of GIPC Act 865.

The law prohibits non-Ghanaians from engaging in retail trade in the jurisdiction.

Subsequent governments have, however, found it difficult to implement the law, causing the traders to go rogue on a seasonal basis.  

Many, including foreign nationals, have argued the law is contrary to the ECOWAS provision of free movement of goods and persons across the sub-region.

The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) backed the action by the Kumasi traders. At a presser, GUTA called on the government to enforce the GIPC Act.

But Justice Sai argued that “government is not enforcing the law because they cannot enforce it.”

The lawyer believes Ghana must allow ECOWAS treaty to act because in the global business space, “the GIPC law has no chance of survival.”

“Let us repeal this law,” he stated.

Commenting on the situation, the vice president of IMANI Africa, Kofi Bentil urged the political leaders of Ghana and Nigeria to sign a pact to curb the attacks on Nigerian retail traders in Ghana.

The terms of this pact should say that “Ghanaians would be allowed to engage in every economic activity in Nigeria that Nigerians are allowed to do in Ghana,” Mr Bentil who is also a legal practitioner said.

He said it’s time the two leaders find a lasting solution to the age-old menace of “xenophobic” attacks urging.

Watch his submission below: