The Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, Ibrahim Murtala Mohammed has accused some members of the Ghana Union Traders Association (GUTA) of fronting for foreign retailers.
This is making it difficult to clamp down on foreigners trading illegally in the country, he told Onua Business News.
According to the deputy minister, the ministry funded the training of prosecutors to better handle the cases involving foreign retailers, and GUTA were also asked to provide evidence to help in prosecuting offenders.
However, he said, GUTA has been unable to provide evidence of foreigners engage in retailing because some of their members are fronting for these foreign retailers.
The shops are registered in the name of Ghanaians as owners whilst the foreigners operate behind the scenes, he claimed.
The ministry and the Accra Metropolitan Assembly have been working hand in hand to prosecute landlords who rent out their facilities to foreigners who do illegal business in the capital. However, this has also hit a snag because people are again fronting in the rental business too.
Interestingly, the Ghana Union Traders Association has over the years been complaining about the influx of foreign retailers in the country. Their concern was renewed in August when the union took journalists to various parts of the central business district of Accra where foreign retailers were allegedly operating.
The move according to GUTA President Dr Ofori Ameyaw was to provide the Ministry of Trade and Industry with evidence that foreigners were still engaged illegally in the retail business. Though the foreigners were found in shops, there was documentary proof that they owned them.
Meanwhile reacting to the comments by the deputy minister, Dr. Ofori Ameyaw told Onua Business News that GUTA will advise itself if nothing is done about the situation.
By Rosina Forster | Onua 95.1FM | 3news.com