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Trade Ministry, GRA reopen shops of foreigners in Accra

By Justice Kofi Bimpeh
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Ministry of Trade and the Ghana Revenue Authority, GRA has reponed shops of foreigners in Accra.

The shops were locked some 6 months ago by the Ghana Union of Traders Association, GUTA for their involvement in retail trade against the laws of Ghana.

The exercise was carried out at Kwame Nkrumah Circle, Opera Square and Suame in Kumasi.

But today July 1 the GRA, Trade Ministry, Immigration Service and the leadership of GUTA started a three-day reopening exercise.

Secretary of the Committee of Foreigners in Retail Trade in Ghana Maxwell Apenkro said, "Those who have met the requirement to trade legally, of course, their shops will be opened for them, those who have not the respective institutions will do the assessment and whatever the law says that is what we will work with. As you can see we are opening the shops so that we can have access to the shop owners and their documents for institutions to assess and advise accordingly."

READ ALSO : GUTA vows to extend lock-up of shops owned by foreigners to other parts of the country

He also added that the decision to open the shops is for those who claim they have their documents in there to be able to access them.

Maxwell Apenkro further explained that the operation is to regularized the retail sector.

21 shops were today opened.

If foreigners show remorse, we'll open their shops - GUTA

The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) last year stated that there is a probability of them opening the shops of foreigners at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle only if they show remorse in their actions.

According to the Association, they want the foreigners in the retail business to know that Ghana is not their country, therefore, they must obey the laws of the land in regards to trade.

The National Organiser of GUTA, Mr. Boateng asked their Nigerian counterparts at the Nkrumah Circle to be submissive if they want their closed shops opened.

''If there is a need for us to open the shops of these foreigners, why not we will do that. We want the foreigners to know they are not in their country and on somebody's land so they must obey the rules and regulations of the land if they want to be recalcitrant and try as much as possible to obey the laws of the land we will also show them we are on our own land and therefore we can do whatever we want.''

''If they show remorse we may consider opening the shops for them. Where remorse means they have to be submissive and cool down but if they want to reciprocate then we will show them''.