More than 50 shops of foreign traders at the Tip-Toe Lane at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle in Accra were yesterday closed down for operating without the relevant documents.
The exercise, which was conducted by the Presidential Committee on Retail Trade under the Ministry of Trade and Industry followed numerous agitations over concerns that foreigners were engaged in the local retail space, contrary to Ghana’s laws.
According to Prince Boakye-Boateng, Public Relations Officer, Ministry of Trade and Industry, the exercise was to enforce recommendations from the Presidential Committee probing the impasse between Ghanaian traders and their foreign counterpart.
He said the shops were locked down due to the failure of the affected foreign traders to regularise their business.
The shops, Mr Boakye-Boateng insisted would remain locked until the traders follow the directives on retail trade in the country.
“They should come and present their documents and if they are lacking some of the documents, we will give them the way forward to see how best we can go about it.
“Unfortunately, they would not even sit down for you to ask them questions. They have put themselves in a bad state. I don’t know what we can do for them now,” he stated.
However, the National President of the Nigerian Union of Traders Association in Ghana (NUTAG), Chukwuemeka Nnaji, in an interview with Ghanaian Times, said their members have complied with all requirements and had bank receipts to show for it.
“We were just here and they came to close the shops without any reason. They said the Minister of Trade and Industry asked them to come there without a reason. Meanwhile, we’ve complied with all they’ve told us to do. Why would they lock the shops? Why can’t they verify if we’ve complied or not? Why are they only interested in locking the shops? They should check our documents,” he exclaimed.
“They gave us an assessment from the Immigration. Some people have submitted their documents to the Immigration. Customs didn’t ask us to do anything. All the institutions that have asked us to do something, we have complied.
“They were supposed to come today to check the compliance. When they came, they didn’t ask us any questions. They just started locking the shops,” he lamented.
Mr Nnaji said all what they wanted as foreign traders in Ghana was some cooperation between them and Ghanaian traders.
BY VIVIAN ARTHUR