Business News of Tuesday, 30 October 2018
The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) has implored government to enforce the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) Act 865 section 27, which bar foreigners from engaging in retail business or trade.
Ashanti Regional Secretary of GUTA, Mohammed Ali, noted that the call was not to intimidate foreigners in Ghana but rather to encourage authorities to implement the statutory laws of the country without fear or favour.
According to him, most foreigners in the retail business evade taxes as well as sell sub-standard products.
In an interview with Class News’ Maxwell Ofori Atta, Mr. Ali said, E -power, a phone accessories shop at Acheamfour market in Kumasi, owned by a Nigerian makes a daily sales of about GHS60,000.00 but pays a paltry sum of GHS18.00 a month as his VAT returns. He added that another Nigerian shop STANBRAVO at Bantama in Kumasi also stocked both medical items such as consumables together with agro chemicals in the same warehouse.
He described the phenomenon as a threat to consumers.
Although the Ghana Standard Authority, Ghana Revenue Authority and Food and Drugs Authority in Kumasi have launched a probe into the allegation, Mr Acheamfuor wants the Trade Ministry to streamline the business operations of foreign nationals in the retail trade.
He argued that the Nigerian president, Muhammad Buhari has signed an executive order to prevent foreigners from engaging in retail trade in Nigeria.
Mr. Ali claimed ASPANDA, a Special Taskforce on foreign trade in Nigeria is preventing foreigners from engaging in retail trade at the markets and business centres across the federal state of Nigeria. He, therefore, called on government to follow suit.
At a Press conference held in Kumasi on Monday, 29 October 2018, the Ashanti regional branch of GUTA, refuted claims presented by the Nigerian Union of Traders in Ghana (NUTAG) to it’s senior Special Advisor on Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa that its members are being harassed by their Ghanaian counterparts.
Mr. Ali mentioned that the compliance committee of Ministry of Trade in its recent operations in Kumasi uncovered illegalities where some foreigners, predominantly Nigerians, were engaging in illicit trade such as the sale of expired goods and sub-standard products.
“It was discovered that vice president of NUTAG, Ikechukwu Obiara was selling an expired fixer and developer that has expired for five years and adulterated methylated spirit mixed with water. Another foreigner too was caught selling and supplying expired malaria test kit,” he alleged.
Mr Ali said the compliance committee exercise was not targeted on only Nigerians but all foreign nationals engaging in retail business such as Indians, Lebanese, Chinese, Egyptians, Malians among others.
He explained that foreigners whose shops were locked up were those who failed to register their business with GIPC and compromised requirements such as refusal to submit accurate tax returns and undue documents to cover importation of goods among others.