The Ashanti Regional Branch of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) has described as unfortunate calls on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to reopen Nigerian retail shops that were closed down.
GUTA said its attention has been drawn to a press release by one Chief Nkem Tony Onyeagolu former President for All Nigerian Communities in Ashanti Region calling on President Nana Akufo-Addo to direct the reopening of locked-up Nigerian shops.
“We consider the statement as unfortunate, palpable falsehood and an insult to the president and the good people of the country,” a statement said.
GUTA said “We would therefore like to respond as follows; That the presidential committee which embarked on the locked up exercise enforced a parliamentary enacted laws of the land. That is GIPC Act 865, which does not allow foreigners in retail business and did not work capriciously.
“That the said committee did not target any particular nation. As the name goes, the committee is a public mandated one to ensure sanity and compliance among foreigners in the retail space. What Chief Nkem lost sight of is that Ghana is a sovereign state with laws and regulations to regulate the trading activities of the country despite our affiliation to some international bodies.
“Therefore telling the president to review the activities of the Committee on Foreigners in Retail Trade is considered an unnecessary interference in the affairs of the state by a foreign body.
“The allegations that their monies and documents are locked up in the shops is also false. The committee allows retrieval of such items when genuinely proven.
“Furthermore, what Chief Nkem failed to tell the whole world is that, even with the limited closures, they are still trampling on our laws with impunity by displaying their wares in front of the locked up shops. Others have resulted to the use of motor bikes and distribution vans to patronize their customers both in the urban and rural areas.”
The statement added that “This is going on to the detriment of our businesses. We therefore see the lamentations of our brothers and sisters as their usual intimidating and blackmailing rhetoric just to call attention to themselves and win an undeserved sympathy both at home and abroad.
“Concluding, we are by this release calling on the presidential Committee on Foreigners in Retail Trade to wake up from their slumber and embark on the promised second and subsequent phases of the exercise as soon as possible to avert the collapse of our business and a possible public outburst especially in this COVID period when most of our businesses are folding up.”