Ghanaian President, Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has vowed to ensure that the country’s law banning foreigners from engaging in retail business in the country are fully enforced
The President who made the pledge while addressing journalists at the Jubilee House on Friday, stated that Nigerians complaining about the law have no right to do so.
On many occasions, Nigerian traders have had their shops forcefully closed down by Ghanaians thereby brewing tension in the market places.
Declaring support for the Ghana Union of Traders Association’s (GUTA) interpretation of the country’s trade laws that only locals can work in the retail sector, Akufo-Addo however said he does not agree with people taking the law into their own hands to enforce the laws.
His words: “[Member of] GUTA are right in their interpretation of the laws of our country. The laws of our country, until they are changed, have banned foreigners from engaging in retail trade in our country as well as activities in our markets reserved those for Ghanaians. So if people who are not Ghanaians are involved in it, people are entitled to get agitated about it.
“What I think, and I’m hoping that we could put some kind of a handle on, is people taking the law into their own hands. That is why I made that intervention with GUTA and the leadership that they cannot take the law into their own hands by just closing down shops, there is no future in that.”
Nigerian traders in the country who disagree with the law claim the ECOWAS protocol which allows the free movement of people, goods and services in West African countries also allows them to trade in Ghana. They have called for negotiations but GUTA has refused to take part in any discussion insisting that they do not want foreigners in tneir retail business space.
In his speech, President Akufo-Addo also dismissed the argument put forward by Nigerians.
“The Nigerians cannot complain about our enforcement of our own laws. They do it in their country. There is nothing discriminatory about it,” he said.
“What we need to do is to be more rigid in enforcing the law. Be more strict about the enforcement of the law and I’m hoping that the measures that have been put in place with the support of GUTA as they begin to work now, will make it possible and therefore bring down the decimal,” he added