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,” he said.
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.