Spare part dealers at Abossey-Okai, a suburb of Accra have called on government to urgently enforce laws that prohibit foreigners from engaging in retail trade in Ghana.
This comes after some misunderstandings between Nigerian traders and their Ghanaian counterparts at Suame Magazine – Ghana’s largest spare parts hub in the Ashanti Regional capital, Kumasi.
The Abossey-Okai Spare Parts Dealers Association addressed a news conference Thursday, where they expressed support for their colleagues in Kumasi who have demanded eviction of the Nigerians from the trade.
They accused their West African neigbours of not only selling inferior products but also dealing in an area which is the sole preserve of Ghanaians.
The traders deal in everything vehicle-related
Their claim is backed by law. Section 27(1) of the Ghana Investments Trade and Promotion Centre (GIPC) Act 865 states “a person who is not a citizen or enterprise which is not wholly owned by citizens shall not invest or participate in sale of goods or provision of service in a market, petty trading or hawking or selling of goods in a store.”
But this provision, according to the Ghanaian traders, is being blatantly flouted by the Nigerians.
At the news conference, Co-chairman of the Aboesey-Okai Spare Parts Dealers Association, Clement Boateng, in reference to law questioned why the foreigners have been allowed to engage in retail trade instead of wholesale.
“We put on record that for over 15 years, the Association has been calling for the various stakeholders to enforce this law and stop foreigners without the legal backing, from the retail business,” Boateng said.
Many petitions to the Trade and Industry Ministry to crack the whip on the foreigners, according to him, have fallen on deaf ears.
“We want to draw government’s attention [that] these individuals who engage in retail trade are individuals who do not have TIN numbers, who do not have company registration certificates, business operations permits, which will result in the non-payment of taxes, VAT and other statutory obligations.
“This act results in the loss of massive revenue which could help government to undertake its development agenda,” the Association indicated.
If government fails to act on their request, members of the Association said they will take “our destiny into our hands to register our displeasure with the dormant approach taken towards this canker in our society.”