Forty-one shops belonging to some foreigners engaging in retail trade at the Suame Magazine Industrial area have been locked up.
This was part of a nationwide exercise by the Committee on Foreigners in Retail Trade. The committee is undertaking the exercise following concerns by Ghanaian traders that some foreigners were in the retail space unlawfully.
The team comprising representatives of the Ghana Revenue Authority, Trade and Industry Ministry, Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), officers from the Ghana Immigration Service and Ghana Police Service moved into the enclave to check the documentation of the foreign traders.
The operation was also to enforce Section 27 (1) of the GIPC Act.
The exercise was largely peaceful as the team which went to parts of the market to enforce laws barring foreigners from engaging in retail trade succeeded in closing the shops without resistance.
Local traders at the Suame Industrial area have over the years protested against foreigners engaging in retail trade.
Secretary to the Committee on Foreigners in Retail Trade, Maxwell Apenkro, noted that there was a similar operation in 2018.
“We came to see if after two years they have been able to comply with the rules. The previous one, none of them met the requirement fully.”
But none of the traders had made attempts to do the right thing, he said.
“Within the two year period, we expected that by now they should have regularised their business operations.”
Mr. Apenkro now says “locking will compel them to come to our offices to do the right thing.”
He added that the exercise also sought to educate foreigners on Ghana’s trade laws.
A similar exercise was conducted within the Greater Accra Region a few weeks ago.