The Ghana Union of Traders’ Association (GUTA) has asked of the immediate closure of shops belonging to illegal foreign traders at Circle in Accra.
GUTA indicated that following an inspection of documents by the committee on Foreign Retail Trade in the country, it was discovered that over 90% of the foreigners did not meet the requirements to operate in Ghana.
In a statement issued yesterday by its President Dr Joseph Obeng, GUTA pointed out that despite their illegibility to trade, these foreigners have blatantly refused to close their shops in accordance with the law, says the association.
“We hereby want the authorities and the general public to note that these recalcitrant foreigners have taken the laws of our country into their own hands with impunity while the authorities look on unconcerned,” GUTA noted.
It also cited the flouting of the ECOWAS rule of origin in the regional body’s protocol as a reason why these shops must be closed.
According to GUTA, per the ECOWAS rule of origin, foreign traders from the ECOWAS sub region are only permitted to trade in goods that are manufactured in their respective countries.
The Association said any other attempt to trade in goods that are not manufactured from one’s respective country will demand that the trader satisfies the GIPC conditions on retail trade in the country.
GUTA’s statement followed heightened tensions between foreign retail traders and local retailers in recent times.
Last year, GUTA locked down several shops in the Ashanti Region owned by foreign retailers over similar breaches of retail protocols in the country.
They cited Ghanaian laws to justify their action, insisting that they have been left with no choice than to move into the markets and lock the shops up themselves because the law enforcement agencies fail to do their work.
GUTA is therefore calling on the authorities to take action against the blatant breach of ECOWAS protocol to avoid further clashes.
“We wish to be categorical that we will not countenance anything in the contrary and, as a result we demand the immediate closure of those shops to avoid any unfortunate situation, as tension is mounting on the matter.”