National Organiser of the ruling New Patriotic Party, Sammi Awuku says there is a need for a national debate on the involvement of foreign nationals in the retail business in the country so a definite decision can be reached.
According to him, successive governments have failed to stop the trend because Ghana is a signatory to the Treaty of the Economic Community of West African States which conflicts with the GIPC law on petty trading.
He says dealing with the matter has political implications.
Section 27(1) of the Ghana Investments Trade and Promotion Centre (GIPC) Act 865 states “a person who is not a citizen or enterprise which is not wholly owned by citizens shall not invest or participate in sale of goods or provision of service in a market, petty trading or hawking or selling of goods in a store.”
Meanwhile, Article 27 of the Treaty of the Economic Community of West African States to which Ghana is a signatory calls on Member States to exempt Community citizens from holding visitor's visa and residence permits and allow them to work and undertake commercial and industrial activities within their territories
Sammi Awuku explains that if the country insists on stopping Nigerians and citizens of other ECOWAS member states from petty trading, Ghana will be exempted from the treaty and Ghanaian citizens residing in other member states will also be prevented from engaging in such.
“we must take a decision as a country because Ghanaians also trade across the world… Parliament needs to debate this issue extensively and reach a consensus, so no party uses in against the other during an election period,” he stated.
Sammi Awuku was speaking on PeaceFM’s morning show ‘Kokrokoo’.