Ghana: GUTA Demands Govt's Intervention to Resolve Issue of Foreign Retailers

28 September 2021

The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) has called on the government to hasten steps to resolve the impasse between Ghanaian and foreign traders in the country.

A joint implementation task force between GUTA and the Nigeria Union of Traders Association, Ghana (NUTAG) has been established to find a lasting solution to the stalemate between Ghanaian traders and their Nigerian counterparts engaged in the retail business.

But recently, the disagreements were renewed, leading to the closure of foreign-owned shops in Koforidua and Accra in the Eastern and Greater Accra Regions respectively because of stalled negotiations under the task force.

In an interview with Citi News, Greater Accra Chairman of GUTA, Nana Kwabena Peprah, said the government must convene a meeting urgently for sanity to prevail.

"All these happenings are unfortunate, but what I will say is that the leadership is in control. We are talking to the sector associations and asking that the government speeds up and immediately convenes the meeting for the retail trade committee to work and bring sanity.

GUTA has in the past made similar calls to the government to bring an end to the banters.

Over the years, there have been various disagreements between Ghanaian traders and their counterparts from other countries, particularly Nigerians.

Though there is free trade among ECOWAS countries, Ghana's laws say a 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.

The local traders have argued that per Ghana's laws, foreigners have no right to engage in retail trade within the country, as their activities affect the local retailers negatively.

There is also a $1 million minimum capital requirement for foreigners doing business in Ghana, which foreign traders have raised issues with.

The government subsequently set up a presidential committee to properly scrutinise all foreigners engaging in trading activities in the country.

This has led to the closure of several shops belonging to foreign retailers across the country.

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