Ghanaian traders want the government to enforce laws against foreigners in retail business

Spare part dealers at Abossey-Okai, a suburb of Accra are calling on the government to enforce the laws that forbid foreigners from engaging in retail trade in Ghana.

Abossey Okai spare parts

This call is coming a few days after some misunderstandings between Nigerian traders and their Ghanaian counterparts at Suame Magazine in the Ashanti Region. Suame Magazine is Ghana’s largest spare parts hub.

At a press conference, the Abossey-Okai Spare Parts Dealers Association said they support the actions of their colleagues in the Ashanti Region who are demanding that their Nigerian counterparts are stopped the retail trade.

According to them, their West African neighbors do not only sell inferior products but also operate in an area which is reserved for Ghanaians only.

Their claim is backed by law. Section 27(1) of the Ghana Investments Trade and Promotion Centre (GIPC) Act 865 states “a person who is not a citizen or enterprise which is not wholly owned by citizens shall not invest or participate in sale of goods or provision of service in a market, petty trading or hawking or selling of goods in a store.”

Referring to the law, the Co-chairman of the Abossey-Okai Spare Parts Dealers Association, Clement Boateng, asked why the foreigners have been allowed to engage in retail trade instead of wholesale.

“We put on record that for over 15 years, the Association has been calling for the various stakeholders to enforce this law and stop foreigners without the legal backing, from the retail business.”

“We want to draw government’s attention [that] these individuals who engage in retail trade are individuals who do not have TIN numbers, who do not have company registration certificates, business operations permits, which will result in the non-payment of taxes, VAT and other statutory obligations. This act results in the loss of massive revenue which could help the government to undertake its development agenda,” he added.

Mr Boateng said that several attempts to get the government to crack the whip has proven futile. They hope that the government will listen to them and act this time.

If the government fails to act on their request, members of the Association have threatened to take their “destiny into our hands to register our displeasure with the dormant approach taken towards this canker in our society.”

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