ECOWAS is bias towards Nigerian traders — GUTA

Business News of Saturday, 29 September 2018

Source: citinewsroom.com

2018-09-29

President of GUTA, Dr. Joseph Obeng

The Ghana Union of Traders Association GUTA has accused the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) of being bias towards Nigerian traders in the sub-region.

According to the association, the ECOWAS Commission has given more privileges to the Nigerian traders as compared to other West African Countries.

There have been seeming tensions between Ghanaian and Nigerian traders over retail trade.

The disagreement has led to the closure of some shops belonging to Nigerians,

Subsequently, some Ghanaian traders have defied the directive by the Trade Ministry to allow the Nigerians back into the retail business.

But speaking to Citi News, the President of GUTA, Dr. Joseph Obeng said the Commission’s decisions does not favor Ghanaian traders.

“I think this ECOWAS is so biased towards Nigeria to the extent that, when they brought the ECLF that we should trade among ourselves, the manufacturing goods here, they had the gut because they are the giant of Africa, they shortlisted 41 items that nobody can ship into their country and the other countries are complaining.”

He mentioned that he expected ECOWAS to a send fact-finding mission to Ghana.

“We have our parliament here which is also made up of representatives of the ECOWAS parliament. Why can’t they make a case? Even with the ECOWAS commission, I was expecting that they send a fact-finding committee here.”

GUTA denies harassing Nigerian business owners, urges ECOWAS to probe claims

Earlier GUTA denied allegations that they are harassing Nigerian business owners in Ghana.

This was after some Nigerians staged a demonstration in Abuja to protest what they consider as intimidation of Nigerian businesses in Ghana.

They claimed Ghanaian authorities have so far closed some 400 shops belonging to their compatriots.

The Punch Newspaper in Nigeria reported on its portal that the protesters who took to the streets on Monday handed over a petition to the Economic Community of West African States’ secretariat located in Abuja.

Nana Addo meets Buhari over ‘confusion’ on retail trade in Ghana

President Nana Akufo-Addo has met with his Nigerian counterpart Muhammadu Buhari in New York over recent media reports of disagreements between Ghanaian and Nigerian retailers in Ghana.

President Buhari in a tweet said that the relationship between Ghana and Nigeria is essential and ‘would not be taken for granted.’

According to Mr. Buhari, he has been assured by President Nana Akufo-Addo that Nigerian businesses are not being deliberately targeted in Ghana.

“The plight of Nigerian traders in Ghana came up when I met with President @NAkufoAddo yesterday. He assured me that Nigerians are not being deliberately targeted. The relationship between our countries is a very important one, and will not be taken for granted by either side” Buhari tweeted.

Background

Non-Ghanaians in retail trade were ordered to leave the Ghanaian markets by July 27, 2018, or face the wrath of the government.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry which gave the order in a statement threatened to take legal action against recalcitrant non-Ghanaians who fail to adhere to the directive.

The Ministry of Trade later did a U-turn on the directive citing inadequate sensitization as the reason for the suspension.

The Ministry has also directed that retail shops closed by the task-force on retail trade be opened “with immediate effect.”

This came after consultations with the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), the Nigerian High Commission and other relevant stakeholders.

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