The Abossey Okai Spare Parts Dealers Association has issued a two-week ultimatum to the government to rid of the market of foreign traders or they will use a radical approach to do away with them.
The traders are lamenting successive government’s failure to enforce the GIPC Act 865 which forbids foreign nationals from engaging in retail business.
Addressing a news conference on Thursday, the spokesperson for the Association, Francis Anom did not see anything wrong with the action of spare part dealers at Suame Magazine in Kumasi who ransacked the shops of some Nigerian traders in that area.
“The Abossey Okai Spare Parts Dealers Association rise to confirm our support and solidarity with the spare parts traders in Suame Magazine against the foreigners’ continuous involvement in retail business in Ghana. We are emphasizing that foreigners are not supposed to engage in retail trade per our laws and so we are reiterating that all foreigners who are doing business should do wholesale.”
“We put on record that for the past 15 years, the Association has been calling on various governments to enforce the law and desist from retail trade but to no avail. Before the government will act within two weeks, the Spare Parts Association will take the law into our own hands due to the dormant approach taken by the government.”
On Tuesday, a number of Nigerian traders left Suame Magazine after over 50 of their shops were closed down for engaging in retail trade contrary to Ghanaian laws.
According to Section 27 (1) of the GIPC Act, a person who is not a citizen or an enterprise which is not wholly owned by a citizen shall not invest or participate in the sale of goods or provision of services in a market, petty trading or hawking or selling of goods in a stall at any place.
The tensions also follow concerns over a growing anti-Nigeria sentiment in Ghana because of the involvement of some of its nationals in high profile crimes in Ghana.
Police in the Ashanti Region have however assured Nigerian traders that it is safe for them to return to their shops after some of them were ransacked by irate locals on Wednesday.
The police in a statement said it had met with the leadership of the Ghana Union of Traders’ Association (GUTA) and the Nigerian Union of Traders Association Ghana (NUTAG) and agreed on a resolution.
It was agreed that “nobody should be prevented from doing his or her business as such, all shops will be opened for business today, Thursday 20th June 2019,” according to the police statement.