The Ghana Union of Traders’ Associations (GUTA) has given government a week’s ultimatum to ensure that all state institutions responsible for the enforcement of laws on retail trade by foreigners in the country are implemented.
According to GUTA, if the authorities fail to implement the law, they would embark on a nationwide closure of all foreign-owned retail shops.
Briefing the media in Accra yesterday, the Vice President of GUTA, Mr Osei Brogya, said having exhausted all the possible avenues for negotiation with the state actors, members would not sit aloof while foreigners take over retailing businesses in the country but would take the bull by the horns and enforce the law themselves.
“It is impossible for us to sit and look on helplessly while foreigners invade our territory when our past leaders in their own wisdom believed that it is not only important but also necessary to reserve an area of the economy for indigenes and enacted laws to that effect to protect the area and avoid any rift,” he said.
“The total failure of the relevant stakeholder state institutions to enforce the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, (GIPC) Act 865 relating to retail trade by foreigners in the country has created unbearable situation that can easily cause upheaval and possible eruption in the country,” Mr Brogya cautioned.
He said the attitude of the state institutions and the silence of the government on the matter would create insecurity in the country.
Mr Brogya stated that laws were made to ensure orderliness, peace and security, adding that, failure to enforce the law results in chaos.
“So the failure to protect the constitution and sovereign laws of
Ghana by the very people who have sworn to protect the country, in itself, is a recipe for insecurity,” Mr Brogya said .
He said the association earlier gave three months for the authorities to enforce the laws but nothing was done.
“Each time we embarked on an action to enforce the law, state authorities plead with us to stop so that they would carry it out, but eventually go back to sleep on the job. We are now at our wits end and can no longer endure suffering as slaves in our own country while foreigners flout our laws with impunity,” he said.
It would be recalled that members of GUTA stormed retail shops belonging to foreigners to lock them up.
Their action stemmed from government’s failure to fully enforce the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre’s Act (Act 865) which bars foreigners from operating in the country’s retail space.
By Agnes Opoku Sarpong