Hundreds of Nigerian-owned shops that were locked up by the Ghana Union of Traders Association on Monday at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle remain locked even after President Akufo-Addo’s intervention.
The shops were locked up by GUTA in an effort to get foreigners to exit Ghana’s retail space since government has failed to implement the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre GIPC Act 865 which restrains foreigners from engaging in retail trade.
The law, in section 27 (1) of the GIPC Act, states that any person who is not a citizen or an enterprise that is not wholly-owned by a citizen shall not invest or participate in the sale of goods or provision of services in a market, petty trading or hawking or selling of goods in a stall at any place.
President Akufo-Addo had admonished GUTA not to take the law into their hands. But when Citi Business News visited the area on Wednesday, the Nigerian shops were still under lock and key with the traders standing idle, while some engaged in conversations.
For the Ghanaian traders, their shops were opened with daily trading activities ongoing.
During the meeting with the President who had visited them as part of his tour of the Greater Accra Region, GUTA President, Dr. Joseph Obeng, who admitted that some of his members went overboard, said he hopes the Committee established by the Minister for Trade and Industry in collaboration with the Ghana Immigration Service, comes up with a permanent solution to the long-standing impasse.
“We are going for meetings, and we will make sure that the Committee that the President was talking about starts working so we go and set up the modalities of enforcing these things because when we know the modalities. We will just communicate to our members and then they will have all the patience for them to do their work.”
The government has not been enforcing the law on retail trade as it handles the matter diplomatically, thereby resulting in tensions in parts of Kumasi and Accra.