Reject calls to reopen shops of foreign traders

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The Ashanti Regional branch of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) is calling on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to reject calls by some Nigerian traders for him to direct the reopening of locked up shops belonging to Nigerians.

Over the years, there have been various disagreements between Ghanaian traders and their counterparts from other countries particularly Nigerians.

The local traders argued that per Ghana’s laws, the foreigners had no right to engage in retail trade as their activities affect them negatively.

The government subsequently set up a presidential committee to properly scrutinise all foreigners engaging in trading activities in the country.

Several shops belonging to foreigners were closed.

In a recent press release, the former President for All Nigerian Community in Ashanti Region, Chief Nkem Tony Onyeagolu called on President Akufo-Addo to give a directive for all shops belonging to foreigners to be reopened.

Reacting to this at a news conference, the Ashanti Regional Chapter of GUTA, Anthony Oppong said its members want President Akufo-Addo to reject the call by the foreign traders outright as it lacks merit.

“The call for the president to review the exercise is an insult to the president and the people. It looks as if the president didn’t think and just woke up one day and just gave instructions to the people to go and lock their shops. We are a sovereign country. We have rules and regulations that guide our trade policies and that’s the way we want to go despite the fact that we are associated with so many international bodies. Our law- the constitution of this country takes precedence over all those laws and treaties that they’ve signed to, so they can’t dictate to us what Ghana must do with our laws”.

Mr. Anthony Oppong also alleged that their checks have shown that there are a number of foreigners who are still engaging in retail trade in various areas in the region.

He is thus urging the Presidential Committee on Foreigners in Retail Trade to as a matter of urgency begin the second phase of the exercise to flush out all foreigners trading illegally in the country.

“We are by this press conference calling on government (we mean the Presidential Committee on Foreigners in Retail Trade) to start the second phase of the exercise as soon as possible because we’ve waited for long. The first phase ended somewhere in October 2020 and by then we were heading towards elections, so the general view was that we should exercise some patience for the elections to be over. After the election, there was a court case, then the president started constituting his government. But it looks as if these people (foreign traders) are taking us for a ride. As I am speaking now, if you go to Akyamfour market, Alabar, and Yaa Achiaa school, you will see them displaying their goods in front of the locked-up shops. If Chief Onyeagolu says I am lying, he should come right now with me and the media, and we will point to those operating now. Some are operating on motorbikes, some are going round distributing goods in vans to areas as far as villages to sell their goods, so they shouldn’t let Ghana look bad in the eyes of the international community”.



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