Nigerian traders in Ghana have asked the country’s government to soften its posture on evicting foreigners in retail business.
This comes follows a directive from Ghana’s Trade and Industry Ministry last month, directing foreign traders operating on markets to vacate by July 27, a decision the ministry later suspended, citing low education and inadequate consultations.
The suspension which has been met with huge resistance from the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), has however been welcomed by foreigners traders, mostly Nigerians.
A leader of the Nigerian Traders Group in Ghana, Yahaya Alhassan speaking in Accra, said his outfit has begun an advocacy to ensure that all Nigerian traders fulfil their tax obligations to the state.
He said “the Nigerian traders are many so we cannot control all of them but we will make sure that they all do the right things”.
“We are very law abiding and we mean no evil. I understand their frustration but they should understand that God gives and will give all of us our share of the market.”
The group also lauded the Nigerian High Commissioner to Ghana Olufemi Abikoye for the diplomatic discussions with the Ghanaian government for the suspension of the directive.
Per Section 27 (1) of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) ACT 865, a person who is not a citizen or an enterprise which is not wholly owned by a citizen shall not invest or participate in the sale of goods or provision of services in a market, petty trading or hawking or selling of goods in a stall at any place.
GIPC laws also subject foreign investors to minimum capital requirements of US$200,000 for ventures with Ghanaian partners; US$500,000 for enterprises wholly-owned by a non-Ghanaian; and US$1 million for trading companies (firms that buy and sell imported goods and services).
Added to this, foreign-owned trading companies are required to employ at least 20 skilled Ghanaian nationals.