Tempers rise as GUTA claims Nigerian traders proving ‘stubborn’

GUTA General Secretary, Alpha Shaban

Leadership of the Ghana Union of Traders’ Association (GUTA) has warned that brewing tension among its membership could explode as the Nigerian traders in Ghana seem to be taking advantage of the special dispensation given them.

According to GUTA, efforts to have a record of Nigerians in brisk trade in Ghana have proven futile as they have failed to do so despite initially asking for extended time.

GUTA noted in a statement issued by Secretary General Alpha Shaban over the weekend that the leadership of the Nigerian traders in Ghana later told the committee tasked to ensure peace between GUTA and foreigners that they cannot comply with the request.

GUTA suspects this could be a “well orchestrated ploy to frustrate the committee, state and people of Ghana”.

“In view of this, we of the Ghana Union of the Traders’ Associations wish to appeal to the Committee on Foreign Retail Trade to, as a matter of urgency, resume its operations without any delay as the behaviour of the Nigerian traders has seriously provoked Ghanaian traders and reigniting agitations in the markets,” the statement said.

“The Leaders of GUTA are making all efforts to calm down tempers but what we can not assure of is, to have influence again over the already frustrated and desperate traders.”

Find the statement below:

PRESS STATEMENT ON THE REJECTION OF SPECIAL DISPENSATION FROM THE GOVERNMENT BY NIGERIAN TRADERS IN GHANA

The Nigerian Union of Traders Association in Ghana (NUTAG) has completely rejected the special dispensation offered to them by the government of Ghana after a series of diplomatic efforts by both Ghana and Nigeria governments.

Government prevailed on us, the Ghanaian counterpart- GUTA to exercise restraints as the two sister states try to find a lasting solution to the long standing issue of invation of the markets by foreign retail traders.

As a result, the operations of the Committe on Foreign retail trade, which was tasked to check and close down shops of recalcitrant foreigners was also halted.

In a joint committee meeting of Ghana and Nigeria, when the committee asked the leadership of the Nigerian traders to provide it with the data of their membership and other relevant documentation on their businesses to enable the committee to discuss the issue and make an informed decision in line with the committee’s terms of reference, the Nigerian traders asked for time to produce the documents, which was granted.

At the following meeting, however, they failed to provide the needed information, and told the committee that they could not comply with the request of the joint committee.

In fact, this incongruous attitude of the Nigerian traders in Ghana is not only an affront but also a well orchestrated ploy to frustrate the committee, state and people of Ghana.

In view of this, we of the Ghana Union of the Traders’ Associations wish to appeal to the Committee on Foreign Retail Trade to, as a matter of urgency resume its operations without any delay as the behaviour of the Nigerian traders has seriously provoked Ghanaian traders and reigniting agitations in the markets.

The Leaders of GUTA are making all efforts to calm down tempers but what we can not assure of is, to have influence again over the already frustrated and desperate traders.

We hereby want the world to bear witness to the fact that we (GUTA) have given some concessions to our Nigerian counterparts, but they have failed to accept for which there is nothing more we can do than to call for immediate continuation of the operations of the Committee on Foreign Retail Trade, to ensure sanity in our markets.

Signed….

ALPHA A. SHABAN

SECRETARY GENERAL