Suspension of Trade ministry clamp down on foreign retailers to blame for attacks - GUTA

Suspension of Trade ministry clamp down on foreign retailers to blame for attacks - GUTA
Source: Ghana| |Abubakar Ibrahim
Date: 02-08-2018 Time: 08:08:12:pm
Dr Joseph Obeng, national president, Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA)

Leadership of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) has blamed government’s abrupt suspension of a scheduled clamp down on activities of foreigners in the retail business as the cause of alleged attacks on some foreigners.

GUTA national president, Dr. Joseph Obeng said the Association is not to be blamed but rather fingers should be pointed at those in the trading community.

“What happened for the suspension of the deadline was not managed well because people’s expectation was so high. They were excited that what they have been fighting for all these years has been given the green light only for it to end this way,” he said.

According to him, the Trade Ministry did not communicate with them regarding the suspension which provoked a lot of people who saw it as a disrespectful gesture.

“I had to do a lot of pleading since the traders had their own timelines of what they are going to do if the suspension is not lifted…they felt that if the law is not working and cannot be enforced, it gives people the advantage to use the same law as a weapon because the law is being abused.

“This is another weapon for GUTA if this thing is not ensured it means other forms of law will be broken…it is frustrating because the market is being taken away from us…people are not doing this for fun. We have to work as traders and the institutions that are mandated to enforce the law should also do their work,” he said.

Related: Ghanaian spare parts dealers at Suame on collision course with foreigners

Leader of Nigerian spare parts dealers in Suame

Dr Obengs’ comment follows alleged attacks on Nigerian spare parts dealers in the Ashanti region by their Ghanaian counterparts.

The Nigerian spare parts dealers had to seek refuge at the Suame police station for protection.

The Ashanti Regional Police command summoned the leadership of GUTA and the Nigerian spare part dealers into a meeting in an attempt to resolve the matter.

Nhyira FM’s Nana Assenso Mensah reported that ended inconclusively and another meeting has been scheduled for Friday.

In a joint statement by the Trade Ministry and GUTA, reading:

The government of Ghana has reaffirmed its support to support Ghanaians involved in the retail trade sector.

In this regard, the committee on retail trade established in May 2018 to oversee the enforcement of domestic retail legislation, regulation and policies have been mandated to continue its work with a higher level of executive authority with the appointment of Alan Kyeremanten (Trade Minister) as the new Chairman of the committee.

Importantly the decision was arrived at after a stakeholders meeting organized by the Ministry with GUTA and other stakeholders in attendance.

We agreed to include representatives from the Ghana Standard Authority (GSA) and Food and Drugs Board (FDB) on the committee.