Ghana’s Ministry of Trade and Industry is to establish a 13-member committee to deal with the influx of foreigners engaged in retail trade in the country.
Membership of the committee will be drawn from the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), the Police, Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOTI) and the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA).
The committee will among other things visit various markets in the capital Accra and Kumasi, the second largest city to ensure that only Ghanaians are engaged in the retail trade as enshrined in the Ghana Investment Promotion Act 865 2013. The monitoring would be extended to the other regional capitals in due course.
Mr. Haruna Iddrissu, the Minister of Trade and Industry, who announced this at a news conference in Accra yesterday on measures to ensure sanity in the retail trade, cautioned that Ghanaians who facilitate the involvement of foreigners in the business would be dealt with by the law.
The Minister warned that Ghanaians who would front by giving out their stores to foreigners would equally be liable under the law.
“The government will assist traders if they stop infringing on the laws and letting out their stores to foreigners to engage in retail trading,” he said.
He stressed that retail trading is the reserve of Ghanaians, assuring that he would enforce the Ghana Investment Promotion Center Act 865 2013 which states that petty trading, hawking and other forms of businesses are the reserved for Ghanaians.
Responding to a question on the integrity of the committee in executing the task, Mr. Iddrisu assured that “I am confident that they would uphold the law.”
The Minister added that Ghana remains committed to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) towards facilitating the movement of goods and services within member states but expects foreigners to respect the country’s laws.
It will be recalled that GUTA on June 22, ordered the closure of all retail shops and stores in Accra to protest against the invasion of foreigners in the retail business.
Mr. George Kwaku Ofori, president of GUTA called for harmonisation of investment of laws within the sub-region to safeguard trade laws of member countries.
The conference was attended by members of GUTA, MOTI, and other stakeholders.