The Ghana International Trade Commission (GITC), has advised members of the Ghana Electrical Dealers Association, GEDA, to refrain from locking up foreign-owned shops engaged in retail trade, as they await government’s solution to the impasse.
GEDA has given government two-weeks to vet the business documents of foreign nationals in retail trade at the Opera Square in Accra; else they will lock up the shops again.
The group earlier locked up the shops of foreigners, particularly Nigerians, who they claim were trading without permit business operating permits, despite their activities being illegal per Ghana’s laws.
The shops were however reopened after the Presidential Committee was set up.
It says government has failed to implement the GIPC Act 865 which prevents foreigners from engaging in the country’s retail sector.
The Association in a notice posted on the foreign-owned shops says the Committee must replicate the vetting of documents at the Opera Square in Accra within two weeks, or else they will be left with no option than to lock them up again.
The Organizer of the Association, Hajia Moena Buari, in an interview with Citi Business News said “We know that there has been a Committee set up by government to look into the affairs of foreigners concerning their documentation; and whatever is empowering them to work in the trade sector. As we speak, it is like the committee has done their work at Circle, but we have not heard anything so we have decided to give them notices to caution them to leave our trade sector, if they fail to do that, we shall lock their shops.”
But the Executive Secretary of the Ghana International Trade Commission, Frank Agyekum, told Citi Business News the traders must exercise restraint as authorities work to resolve the matter.
“You do realize that Ghana is not the only country with laws on foreigners’ trade, so these things would have to be looked at holistically, especially in this era of AfCFTA . Some of these things are going to come up very seriously. I can only plead with our compatriots not to go ahead with their actions, but to petition the right authorities for the way forward.”