Number of foreigners engaged in illegal businesses reduced – GUTA

Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), the umbrella body of petty trader groups in the country said the number of foreigners who have been engaging in illegal trading activities in the country have reduced.


“At least quite a number of the foreigners engaging illegal trading activities are no more there,” the President of GUTA, Mr. George Ofori told the Daily Express in Accra on Tuesday.

Ghana marketMr. Ofori said that the areas he can testify that the numbers of these illegal traders have reduced are the Okaishie in the Accra Central business district and the Abossey Okai, near the Kaneshie market also in Accra.

“When you go to the Okaishie where it used to be chocked, now you will not find them as it was about two years ago,” Mr. Ofori added.

Even though the association does not have regional statistics and the percentage of the decrease to show, the association believes that there has been improvement in making the sector solely for mainly Ghanaians.

“This is due to the action put up by the GUTA,” said the GUTA President, adding that they are expecting a lot from the government.

He said “what we did was visiting their shops and asking them to leave the sector. We made them understands that they do not belong to the trading sector and they must leave. They felt danger and we have seen majority leaving the sector. But we thought our efforts could be supported by the Government Inter-Agency Task Force, so that they will help us achieve the course, but they did not. They rather accused us of leading the foreigners.”

However, Mr. Ofori stated that the association wants the complete elimination of these people from the trading sector.

“We have raised this trading issue several times, but it seems government has refused to listen to us. We have to act on this as an association,” he noted.

The Ghana Investment Promotion Center’s (GIPC’s) Act 2008, which was amended to become GIPC Act, 2013 (Act 865) encourage and promote investments in Ghana; provide for the creation of an attractive incentive framework and a transparent; predictable and facilitating environment for investments in Ghana.

The GIPC Act made it clear that joint-venture companies must have investment capital of not less than US$250,000 while investment capital for a firm 100% foreign-owned is about US$500,000.

Per the GIPC law, foreigners who want to engage in trading activities must be required to bring in not less than US$1,000,000 and required to employ at least 20 Ghanaians.

“This is what the law says and we want the foreigners understand this and abide by it,” Mr. Ofori mentioned.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday the association led by its President Mr. George Ofori at a news conference raised concerns that the government has imposed excessive taxes on importers and these taxes are affecting their businesses.

“The recent introduction of some taxes and the increment of others have now reached not only an abnormal, but also unbearable and, in fact, intolerable proportion,” the group said.

They mentioned some of the taxes to be Import Duty between 10% and 20%; Import VAT/NHIL 17.5%; ECOWAS Lev 0.5%; EDIFF .0.5%; GCNet .0.4%; Ghana Shippers’ Authority GHc9.00; Income Tax in imports .1%; 1.D.F. GHc5.00; Special Tax on import 2%; Customs Union Brokers Association of Ghana (CUBAG) GHc5.00; CCVT 1% and among others.

Source: Fred Yaw Sarpong- Daily Express

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