The Ghana Union of Traders’ Association (GUTA) has flatly denied threatening to attack and cease Nigerian businesses at the Suame Magazine in Kumasi.
Mr. Anthony Oppong, Ashanti Regional Chairman of the Association, said the claim by the Nigerians was completely false.
He was addressing a press conference held in Kumasi to respond to a petition made to the Regional Security Council by the Nigerian Community, that they felt unsafe with their businesses.
Mr. Oppong said the story had been made up to cover their engagement in illegal retail business and to win the sympathy of the authorities.
He added that this was nothing but a ploy to distract the appropriate state institutions from acting to address the disturbing take-over of the retail business by foreigners.
He indicated that the growing involvement and dominance of foreign nationals in the retail trade had serious implication for Ghanaian businesses and this was what was raised at the meeting of the Suame Magazine branch of the Union.
He said they had nothing against any foreigner and were not after anybody and that they only wanted to make sure that the proper things were done.
“All what we are asking the authorities is to enforce sub-section 27 of the Ghana Investment Promotion Center (GIPC) Act 865, which does not allow foreign nationals to engage in retail business in Ghana, just as the laws which makes it illegal for foreigners to engage in small scale mining (galamsey) in the country.”
Mr. Oppong said the strong presence of foreigners in the retail business must be seen as a national security amid the high unemployment among the nation’s youth.
He advised Ghanaians to refuse to allow foreigners to hide behind them to engage in any retail trade.
Public Officials should also be patriotic and desist from aiding them to acquire the necessary documents to operate.
He underlined the unswerving resolve of the Union to push the authorities to do the right thing.
The Nigerian Community – mostly traders are reported to have petitioned the Regional Minister, the Regional Police Commander and the Nigerian High Commission in Accra that spare parts dealers in the Suame Magazine had at their recent meeting, threatened forcible take-over of their businesses.