Nigerian traders in the Ashanti Region have petitioned the Regional Police Command to help quell what they believe is an imminent violence against them.
They claim the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) has been inciting its members to attack Nigerian traders.
These foreign traders, mainly concentrated at the Suame Magazine in Kumasi, say they are living in fear and panic from the threats.
They claim in the petition, issued by lawyers of the Nigerian Union of Traders, that “the Executive Committee of GUTA at Magazine caused a van fixed with megaphones to move round the whole of Magazine blurring anti-Nigerian traders’ messages, which are very inciting, hateful and having the propensity of urging members to attack and molest your humble petitioners”.
The Nigerian traders want the GUTA leadership to be called to order “so that their aspirations would be pursued through lawful means and in conformity with the tenets of the ECOWAS Protocols on trade”.
GUTA, at a media briefing to refute the allegations, however said it is only seeking protection of local businesses through the enforcement of the law which bars foreigners from engaging in retailing.
“We are not after foreigners, be it Nigerians or any other,” said Anthony Oppong, GUTA Chairman in Ashanti region.
“All that we are asking the authorities is to enforce the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) Act 865,Sub-Section 27, which does not allow foreign nationals to engage in retain business in Ghana, just as the laws which makes illegal for foreigners to engage in small-scale mining (Galamsey) in the country”.
The GIPC Act spells out enterprises eligible for foreign participation and minimum foreign capital requirement.
It states in part that “a person who is not a citizen may engage in a trading enterprise if that person invests in the enterprise, not less than one million United States Dollars in cash or goods and services relevant to the investment”.
GUTA has thus cautioned Ghanaians to desist from operating as agents to acquire shops for foreign retail businesses.
Mr. Oppong reiterated that “foreigners in retail business have a serious implication on national security in view of the high unemployment situation among our teaming youth in the country”.
By Kofi Adu Domfeh|TV3|3news.com|Ghana