By Yaw Ansah, GNA
Accra, Nov. 18, GNA – The Ghana Union of
Traders Association (GUTA) on Monday renewed its call to government to enforce
the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) regulation, which prohibits
foreigners from engaging in retail trade.
The Association said the Act, Act 865, which
bars foreigners from engaging in retail businesses, must be implemented to
protect the interest of locals and the economy.
The Association has given the foreign
retailers a week ultimatum to pack out their goods from the shops that were
closed and vacate the market.
Speaking at a press conference, Mr Patrick
Osei Brogyua, the First Vice Chairman of GUTA, said the Association had asked
the government and implementing agencies to take steps towards the application
of the law in a week to avert the group’s nationwide action.
He said the attitude of the state
institutions and the silence of government on the violation of the regulation
by foreign traders were creating insecurity, adding that, failure to take
action would result in massive job losses.
The Law specifies that 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 must be reserved for Ghanaians.
Other activities not permitted for
non-citizens include operation of taxi or car rental services in an enterprise
that has a fleet of less than 25 vehicles, operation of a beauty salon or a
barber’s shop, and production and retail of sachet water.
Mr Brogya stated that the Association over
the past 20 years had continued to follow due process and had dialogue with
authorities to ensure that the retail trading activities should not be in the
hands of foreigners.
However, he said, successive governments and
state institutions had failed to address the challenge.
Mr Clement Boateng, a leading member of
GUTA, urged members of Parliament harbouring the idea of amending the GIPC Act
to enable foreigners to engage in retail business, to shelve it.
“If you are considering amending the law you
must as well consider allowing foreigners to contest as Members of Parliament
in Ghana. It is important to grow and support the local businesses to thrive,”
Mr Boateng advised members to exercise
patience, refrain from attacking foreign shops, and follow directions from
their leaders on next steps.
Members of GUTA, as part of a series of
actions to get the Government to enforce the law over the years, had held press
conferences, locked up shops, sent petition to GIPC and the President.