Nigerian traders leave Ghana's biggest spare-parts hub after shop closures

Nigerian traders have deserted their shops at Suame Magazine in Kumasi after over 50 of their shops were closed down over their involvement in local retail trade.

Suame Magazine

The Ghanaian traders have often argued that they cannot do retail business with their Nigerian counterparts. The Ghanaian constitution allows for foreigners to only supply products and not engage in a retail business.

According to the GIPC law Section 27 (1) of the GIPC Act, 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.

The Ghanaian traders have indicated that they will drive out foreigners flouting the laws regulating retail trade in the country.

In 2018, a taskforce from the Trade Ministry in 2018 met leadership of the Ghana Union of Traders Association and the Nigerian Union Traders Association to address the disagreements between the two parties with little success.

Earlier in 2019, traders at Suame Magazine said that they will not change their stance on restraining foreigners from engaging in retail business within the enclave.

A trader said told Accra-based Citi FM that, “We cannot do the retail business with Nigerians. As Ghanaians, we have an upper hand when it comes to retail. About a year ago, officials from the Standards Authority took samples from their product and have not returned. What did they do with those samples?”

“Constitutionally, foreigners cannot engage in retailing but can only supply products. Recently, so many foreigners have come to Suame Magazine and that has put us out of business. We have complained several times and nothing is being done,” he added.

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