The Ministry of Trade and Industry has served notice to foreign retailers operating in Takoradi and Koforidua to get all the necessary documents to avoid being shut down.
The ministry has embarked on an exercise to lock up shops of foreigners engaging in retail business without the proper documents and certificate of operation.
The Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the ministry, Prince Boakye Boateng stated that, “by next week, we shall visit Koforidua and subsequently move to Takoradi to complete the first phase of our operation.
“Therefore, all foreign retailers operating at either Koforidua or Takoradi without proper documents or permits should get the relevant permits ready before we arrive”.
Mr. Boateng was speaking to Captain Smart about lock up of foreign retailers’ shops in some parts of the country on the Anopa Bofo morning show, which was broadcasting live from Atimpoku.
The PRO explained that their visit to Koforidua and Takoradi is not to lock up the foreigners shops but rather to ensure they have the right documents and business license to operate.
“The foreign retailers in those places are fortunate because we [task force] have never been there before. Just like we did at Kantamanto, we won’t lock up shops… we shall inspect their permits and documents to ensure they qualify to be working and give those without all the requirements two weeks to put things in order…”, he said in Twi.
Touching on the lock ups so far, he said 91 shops have been closed down so far in Suame Magazine and Accra.
According to him, the affected foreigners are from Lebanon, Nigeria, Senegal and Pakistan, with most being Nigerians.
He added that the ECOWAS protocol does not mean an ECOWAS member can go to a country to operate without due respect to the laws
Mr. Prince Boateng concluded that, the ministry’s decision to act now is not meant to please the Ghanaian retail traders in order to gain their favor in the December elections.
“No, what we are doing is not about elections or votes. We are doing it for the country. Whether it is Nana Addo, John Mahama or CPP that will win, we are working with laws…”, he stressed.