26 June 2012

West Africa: Ghana Defers Clampdown On Foreign Traders

Accra — The Ghanaian government yesterday shelved its planned closure of businesses places owned by foreigners, saying clampdown would commence on a yet-to-be announced date.

Following the expiration of the four-month ultimatum issued to all non-Ghanaians engaged in retail trading, the Joint Task Force for the enforcement of the trade act had planned to clampdown on foreigners beginning from yesterday.

But the Communication Director of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Nana Akrasi Sarpong, said yesterday that intelligence reports from the markets have compelled the task force to put on hold the scheduled closure of foreigner's shops in the prohibited areas.

According to him, information about their action had been leaked to the traders; hence the crack down process was put on hold temporarily.

Reacting, Vice President of Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) Mr. Armah Lartey berated the task force for its in-action, insisting that the traders did not want foreigners in their markets.

Meanwhile, Nigerian traders have continued to express fears over the ban on non-Ghanaian retail traders, even as some have complained of constant intimidation and harassment from Ghanaian traders.

Onyebuchi Uche, a small scale electronic dealer, revealed that the area did not fall within the prohibited areas, but noted that they were being harassed daily by their Ghanaian counterparts to quit their shops.

Another trader who deals on television accessories, Mr. Polynus Okafor, maintained that his shops did not fall within the banned areas, because it was a residential area, but recounted similar harassment from Ghanaian traders.

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