Ghanaian-Nigerian Retail Business Faceoff Deepens! Nigerian and Ghanaian traders in Ghana face-off over the participation of foreigners in the retail business in the country deepened over the last few weeks with the Ghana Union of Traders Association pulling out of all dialogue with their Nigerian counterpart over what they termed “Name-calling.” This was made known by the President of GUTA, Dr. Joseph Obeng, when he said he is disappointed that Nigerian traders have resorted to name-calling and insults for demanding Nigerian retail business should operate within the ambit of the Ghanaian laws.
According to Dr. Obeng “Anytime they’ve gotten the opportunity to speak, they seek to insult our integrity and that is not acceptable. They call us thugs, disgruntled elements and all that. “What we are saying is that what they seek to portray to Ghanaians is that our actions are unlawful. We are also saying that whatever thing we are doing is legal and very lawful.”
It has been reported that the Nigerian traders have appealed to President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana to immediately interfere in the brawl between the two associations. The traders at a recent press conference alleged that they have been the victims of “consistent harassment” since 2007 at the hands of GUTA and urged Nana Akufo-Addo to have a second look at the GUTA laws.
Ogbonna Kaycey, President of the Ghana Chapter of the Nigerians in Diaspora Organization said, “I can say that GUTA doesn’t speak for most likely 70 per cent of Ghanaian traders and most likely 90 per cent of Ghanaian consumers. They are trying to turn themselves to a terrorist organization. Whatever they are doing is not in the best interest of Ghana. Ghanaians don’t support it. So I think it’s high time the government looks at the activities and knows how to consult them. The government should call them to order and then revisit some of the provisions of the law that they take advantage of to promote this hate agenda.”
The law, in section 27 (1) of the GIPC Act 865, states that any person who is not a citizen or an enterprise that 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.