Angry members of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) have locked up about 52 shops belonging to foreigners at the Opera Square in Accra.
Storming the Central Business District on Monday, November 04, 2019, they called on the government to enforce the law that prevents foreigners from engaging in retail businesses in Ghana.
The traders interacting with Joy Business explained that “we are taking the law into their hands, especially when government has failed us.''
They say the government’s inability to enforce the law leaves them with no choice than to do it themselves.
“We can’t sit and watch these Nigerian retailers take over our shops and business. There is a law which bans them from doing business yet our leaders sit back and watch them flouting the law,” one Ghanaian trader complained.
GUTA says foreign retailers flout section 27 of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) Act 865.
That law specifies that 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 must be reserved for Ghanaians.
Other activities not permitted for non-citizens include:
-Operation of taxi or car hire service in an enterprise that has a fleet of less than twenty-five vehicles
-Operation of a beauty salon or a barbershop
-Printing of recharge scratch cards for the use of subscribers of telecommunication services
-Production of exercise books and other basic stationery
-Retail of finished pharmaceutical products
-Production and retail of sachet water.
At the Central Business District, the GUTA leadership had a special lock with which they were locking the shops, many of which belonged to Chinese and Nigerian nationals.
The exercise was being carried out by the Electrical Association Chapter of GUTA and hence they were targeting electrical shops.
Last week, Thursday, foreign traders in Kejetia, Suame Magazine, Adum, and Asafo markets were all yanked out of the shops.
GUTA Public Relations Officer, Albert Mensah Offei, said that the locking up of retail shops owned by foreigners will soon be extended to other parts of the country.
They specifically targeted shops with foreign names.
The closure of these shops follows the protracted closure of the Nigerian-Benin Border which has left trucks from Ghana stranded at the borders.
So far, Nigerian authorities have revealed an extension of the border until January 31 – a development the President of GUTA, Dr Joseph Obeng has described as proof of weak ECOWAS protocols.