The Chief Executive Officer of the Dalex Finance, Ken Thompson, has said it was wrong for the Presidential Committee on Trade to have closed down shops of foreigners at Circle in Accra.
He told Alfred Ocansey on the Sunrise programme on 3FM Wednesday, August 19 that these are businesses that probably have been operating in the country for a long time.
Mr Thompson expressed fear that if care is not taken there are going to be reprisal attacks on Ghanaians in Nigeria.
Over 100 retail shops belonging to foreigners at Circle were closed down in an exercise led by the Presidential Committee on Retail Trade.
The exercise, which started peacefully, later turned chaotic.
The Presidential Committee in the company of the Police arrived at Circle at about 11:00am on Thursday, August 13 for the operation.
Public Relations Officer at the Ministry of Trade and Industry Prince Boakye Boateng explained that the Committee was only enforcing Section 27, Clause 1 of the GIPC Act.
“We came here today to lock up shops, we did not come here to inspect legal documents. We have been here several times and when we came here earlier on we asked them to ensure that they have complied with the necessary regulatory requirements.
“The business should have been registered at the Registrar General Department, we are also saying that if you are a foreigner and you are trading in this country you must have the necessary residence and work permit to be in this country.
“There must be proof that you have paid your taxes. You should prove that you have invested at least one million dollars in your capital. So if you don’t have that then it means that you are not part of this country,” he said.
But Mr Thompson said inasmuch as indigenous businesses are expected to be protected against the influx of foreign-owned ones, there is the need to also ensure competition among the traders by allowing foreigners the space in the sector.
“We need to promote indigenous businesses but at the same time we need to ensure that there is competition, and that consumers’ interest are protected.
“The rule of law must prevail at all times. Whatever we do to Nigerians or whatever foreigners are in this country remember that we also have Ghanaians outside the country.
“The businesses that have been closed down, these are businesses that most often were built from scratch and some accommodation can be made. I don’t subscribe to the closure of the shops, these are the private sector, people’s money, peoples livelihoods, some people have spent the whole lives working in this country.”
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana