Non-Ghanaian retailers close shops as GUTA deadline expires

Some retail business enterprises owned by non-Ghanaians have started folding up in compliance to a directive from the Ghana Union Traders Association to foreign retailers.

GUTA is seeking to enforce Act 478 of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC)that bars foreigners from petty trading, hawking or selling from a kiosk at any place reserved as a market. The law stipulates that any foreigner who wants to engage in retailing must first invest an initial $300,000.

According to GUTA’s President, George Ofori the directive is not targeted at any particular nationality but it is seeking to smoke out all non-Ghanaians who are dealing in the retail business in areas such as Makola, Okaishie, Nkrumah Circle and so on.

As a 3-month ultimatum given to the non-Ghanaians in the retail business elapses on Thursday, the Chairman of the Inter-Agency Task Force on non-Ghanaians in Retail Business, Kofi Larbie has revealed that they would start clamping down on those businesses on Monday, June 24.

The task force comprise of institutions such as Registrar General’s Department, Ghana Investment Promotions Center, Ghana Revenue Authority, Immigration Service, Police Service, Ministry of Trade and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Meanwhile checks by Joy FM’s Francis Abban at the Tip Toe Lane, Nkrumah Circle, Accra revealed that some of the shops owned by non-Ghanaians have been closed.

He added that some locals have advised the non-Ghanaians to adopt a “wait and see” approach to see whether the task force would carry out its threat.

He reported that some local traders have welcomed the news urging the task force to enforce the law to the letter.

According to Francis Abban, some non-Ghanaians however called on the task force to extend the ultimatum to ensure that they get enough time to fully shut down their enterprises.