In the wake of the ongoing tussle over the involvement of foreign nationals in Ghana’s retail space, members of the Ghana Electrical Dealers Association have threatened to prevent foreigners dealing in electricals in Ghana from continuing with their business if the government fails to enforce the GIPC Act 865.
The Act, in section 27, prohibits foreigners from engaging in retail trade but has not been enforced by successive governments.
Ghanaian retailers, particularly those at the Abossey Okai and Suame Magazine industrial enclaves, have in recent times reignited their protest against the presence of foreign nationals in the retail space, particularly Nigerians.
The traders have accused their West African neighbours of not only selling inferior products; but dealing in an area which is solely reserved for Ghanaians.
Government’s inability to enforce the law has now angered traders; who have threatened to take the law into their hands. Quite recently, some Nigerians at the Suame Magazine were forced to close their shops after local traders threatened to attack them.
Speaking at a press conference, the Public Relations Officer for the Ghana Electrical Dealers Association, Samuel Asare Addo, said the government must protect the interest of local retailers.
“Foreigners bring in shoddy goods sell them at a very cheap price to Ghanaian consumers and pay no taxes to the government. Some of them don’t even have bank accounts and they convert to foreign currency through the black market and send the money back to their countries.
We all know what happened when a few months ago US$1.2 million was seized at the airport by custom officers. They are milking the country and the government is doing nothing about it.
It is about time we take the bull by the horn, we will not allow foreigners to take over our retail markets.
Until the GIPC law is implemented, we will never stop.”
The first Vice President of the Ghana Union of Traders Association, Osei Brogya, said foreigners who fail to adhere to the warning by the locals and continue to operate their businesses; would have themselves to blame if anything goes wrong.
“The way things are going if we are not careful, Ghana will be the loser, it is time we put Ghana first”.
“GUTA members are scattered all over Ghana and wherever they are we are telling them to organize themselves and protect our markets from”.
“It is because we want the peace that is why we are telling the foreigners not to operate their shops in the retail market anymore, so if you force yourself into that place and anything happens to you, it is your own problem,” he said.