File photo: Some members of GUTA in the Ashanti Region[/caption] The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) has asked Senior Minister Yaw Osafo-Maafo to render an unqualified apology to the association or face their wrath. At the closing of a 3-day conference on the Africa Continental Free Trade Area in Accra, Osafo-Maafo condemned efforts being taken by Ghanaian local businesses to push foreigners out of the country’s retail businesses. While the local businesses say they are enforcing the laws which bar foreign nationals from participating in retail businesses, the senior Minister claim, the locals are just “worried about competition”. “Is the Nigerian market not bigger than your market?” he asked, claiming Ghanaians are also enabled and allowed to get into the Nigerian market which is about 200 million. But the local traders have taken exception to the comments of the minister, and thus demanding a withdrawal of same with an apology to them. Chairman of GUTA Mr Anthony Oppong told Onua FM he was livid when he heard Mr Osafo-Maafo make that statement and given him up to Monday, August 26 to withdraw the said statement or face their wrath “How can Mr Osafo-Maafo who has been a former finance minister and head of the current economic team make such an unfortunate statement? And what has he even done about the subsidies to reduce cost of production as he has proposed?” he quizzed Mr Oppong quoted the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre Act 885 which prohibits foreigners from participating in either the sale of goods or provision of services in a market, petty trading, hawking or selling of goods in a stall at any place, to ground their position. “We know Mr Osafo-Maafo was talking from euphoria considering the benefits Ghana stands to get from the Africa Continental Free Trade but it’s unfortunate for a senior minister who is aware of the GIPC law to say that” the chairman stated. The GUTA chairman however said they are not against foreign investors or foreign companies investing in the Ghanaian economy, but want the right thing to be done fairly per the Ghanaian laws.