Business News of 2014-06-11

Nigerian traders to meet Trade minister over GUTA threat

The Nigerian community in Ghana says it will as a matter of urgency arrange to meet the Ministry of Trade over the latest threat by the Ghana Union of Traders Association, GUTA.

GUTA has asked all foreigners involved in retail trade to leave Ghanaian markets by the end of June.

According to the President of the Association, George Ofori the continuous depreciation of the Cedi is as a result of the involvement of a large foreign influx in retail trade in the country.

The Public relations officer of the Nigerians in Ghana, Barry Ndu Nwaihim said GUTA should reflect on the consequences of the threat if it is carried out.

“We have explained to GUTA that if they start this today definitely it must have an effect on Ghanaian traders who are trading in Nigeria,” he said.

He said there are Nigerians with Ghanaian spouses and thus sending them out of the market will affect many families.

When the issue came up early last year the ministry of trade directed all the traders to regularize their business with the registrar general’s department in order to pay the appropriate taxes. The ministry also demanded that all foreigners legalize their stay by acquiring working and resident permits.

The Nigerian traders, however, dragged Ghana to the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice in 2013 over the enforcement of the Ghana Investment Promotion Council (GIPC) Act.

The act, which was revised in July 2013, among others, specifies the criteria foreigners would have to meet before they can be allowed to do business in the country.

It also bars foreigners from trading in the country’s markets.

The Ashanti regional branch of GUTA has also asked the Nigerian traders at Suame magazine to leave the market.

But Mr. Ndu Nwaihim note that “we will initiate calls to the Ministry of Trade, we have talked to Nigerian traders, let’s see before this week ends that we will be able to sit at the round table”.

The laws of the Ghana do not permit foreigners to be involved in retail trade.