Don’t take law into your hands – Akufo-Addo to traders

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has charged the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) not to take the law into their hands despite the law being on their side on issues of foreign participation in retail trading in Ghana.

The president said this while addressing members of the Association in Accra as part of his 3-day tour of the Greater Accra Region.

Some members of GUTA closed down shops of Nigerian retailers on Monday, December 2, stating the retailers do not have the right to operate in the country.

President Akufo-Addo was at Okaishie to meet the GUTA members where he said closing down shops will only cause chaos in the country, and that it is not the right way to do things.

He insisted government is working towards finding a solution to the retail impasse, warning the Association’s members not to take the law into their own hands .

“People cannot take the law into their own hands and enforce the law. If we do that, Ghana will become chaotic. We have to be careful about this phenomenon of taking the law into our own hands about situations that government is yet to resolve,” President Akufo-Addo said.

He urged the Association to allow the Trade Ministry handle the issue the right way for peace to prevail.

“I am confident that if we allow same to work, your issues with foreign participation in the retail business will soon be a thing of the past in line with the law.”

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GUTA President Dr. Joseph Obeng said the union of traders is mindful of the potential damage that any fight with foreign traders in Ghana could pose to the international image of Ghana and assured that the Union is ready to cooperate with government to find an amicable resolution to the issues of foreign participation in the retail sector.

Interest rates to be reduced

In an earlier meeting with market women at Makola as part of his tour of the Greater Accra Region, President Akufo-Addo assured Ghanaian traders that his administration is working closely with the Bank of Ghana to find a lasting solution to the phenomenon of high interest rates they are charged by banks in order to access loans to grow their businesses.

“The interest rate charged by banks which certainly is not in the interest of traders in our country is a very important issue to me.

“I have started talking with the Bank of Ghana and the bankers, I am hopeful that in no time, we will have some changes in that regard.”

Touching on locked-up funds at some banks and micro-finance institutions, the president asked the traders to exercise a little more patience with his government as it works to clear all the debts owed them.