Gov't to enforce laws banning foreigners in retail business

By Wendy Amarteifio
Gov't to enforce laws banning foreigners in retail business

The government is taking steps to enforce laws in banning retail trade amongst foreigners in Ghana.

Ghanaian retailers in the past two months have attempted to evict their Nigerian counterparts whom they alleged have been trading contrary to the law.

In June 2019, shops of Nigerians at Suame Magazine at Kumasi in the Ashanti Region were shut down by their Ghanaian counterparts.

Ghanaian retailers at the market accused the Nigerians of evading tax and selling substandard products which is a threat to the market.

The Ghanaian retailers added that the actions of these Nigerian shop owners was affecting their sales because most people do not want to buy the secondhand products anymore but the substandard new ones brought in by the Nigerians.

In the same month, Ghanaian traders at Opera Square in Accra locked up shops of their Nigerian counterparts in the market.

Again, Ghanaian spare parts dealers at Abossey Okai in Accra also threatened to sack foreigners from the retail business.

Also,the Founder and leader of the Liberal Party of Ghana (LPG), Mr Kofi Akpaloo, has called on the government to scrap the law that bans foreigners from engaging in the retail business.

According to him, the law had outlived its usefulness and that it would no longer be needed, considering the relationship between Ghana and the neighbouring countries, particularly, Nigeria.

Speaking on the floor of Parliament, Majority leader Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu indicated government's intention to enforce laws in retail business among foreigners

''In dealing with other nations, the government shall promote and protect the interest of Ghana. The ECOWAS protocol provides the free movement of goods and services. When the goods arrive at any destination, the laws of the country provide that retail business should be in the hands of the citizens, it's so in Nigeria, Cote d'Ivoire. So let nobody say that because we have gratified the ECOWAS conventions we should allow citizens from other countries including the sub-regions and even elsewhere to engage in retail business''.

Speaking on Joy FM, the President of the Ghana Union Association of Traders, GUTA Dr Joseph Obeng reacting to the latest development in Parliament indicated that:

''If Parliament is now sitting up to do what is expected of them, then am happy and believe all the trading communities are also happy. If Nigerians are saying they have built resistance, modernity tells us that everybody is doing what is right by enforcing laws in their countries so nothing prevents Nigeria from enforcing their laws legitimately and Ghana also doing same''. 

Meanwhile, a joint parliamentary committee has been set up to probing the matter.