Traders in the Eastern Region, especially mobile phone dealers, who are members of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), have called on government to close down shops of all foreigners by September 3, this year, as promised.
The traders said the closure would prevent violent clashes between the members and foreigners, especially their Nigerian counterparts.
According to them, the foreigners had hijacked the country’s local retail market and were selling contrary to the country’s laws, which forbid foreigners to engage in retail activities.
They stated that if the government’s taskforce failed to deal with the issue, the members would advice themselves and take action to solve it.
The mobile phone operators made the call at a meeting organised by GUTA to engage members, to ascertain their challenges and discuss ways of solving the problems.
A member of the mobile phone dealers association, Francis Osei, who spoke to Ghanaian Times, lamented that foreigners had taken over the jobs of the dealers, preventing them from making the necessary sales to enable them to take care of their families and also repay loans acquired for their businesses.
“These foreigners, especially Nigerians, have taken over our jobs in the Eastern Region, especially in Koforidua, and we are not going to continue to sit down and watch them,” he stated.
Mr Osei said “when the government asked that we engage in the new voter registration, it insisted that no foreigner should register, likewise, if foreigners are not supposed to engage in retail per the law, they should not.”
Another member of the association, Nana Kofi Opare who spoke to the Ghanaian Times, said traders who suffered most at the hands of the foreigners, were the mobile phone operators, since “any foreigner who left his country to Ghana would first of all engage in mobile phone business”.
“We have taken loans to engage in business, how do we repay when these people are taking over our jobs and competing with us on the market and sometimes selling at cheaper prices to customers,” he lamented.
Mr Opare stated that it was about time foreigners were asked to obey the country’s laws, and asked government to intervene before the Ghanaian raders took the law into their own hands.
FROM AMA TEKYIWAA AMPADU AGYEMAN, KOFORIDUA