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Government gives foreign retailers ultimatum to regularise trade

Kumasi Central Market

File photo

Foreigners who own retail shops in the Eastern Region have been given a 14-day ultimatum to document their businesses properly. The directive comes after the technical subcommittee on the Committee on Foreign Retail Trade visited some retail shops in Koforidua.

The committee consists of officers from the Immigration Service, Ghana Revenue Authority, Standards Authority, police, customs and members of the Ghana Union of Traders’ Associations (GUTA).

The committee visited 40 foreign-owned retail shops in the town, 39 of which were found not to have the proper documentation to operate. The foreign shopowners were cautioned to use the stipulated window to regularise their businesses or risk being shut down.

Verification of documents

During their operation the Committee on Foreign Retail Trade members visited Nigerian-owned mobile phone and accessories shops as well as rice shops owned by Indians and Lebanese.

Edward Adjenim Boateng, the leader of the committee, said it is important that all people operating retail shops are duly licensed to do so.

He added that it was only fair, however, that the shopowners be given some days to put together the documentation they need to regularise their business.

He said if the foreign retailers refuse to comply with the law, a presidential task force will be deployed to close down their shops.

Satisfactory arrangement 

Meanwhile, the All Nigerian Community in the Eastern Region has welcomed the 14-day ultimatum to foreign retailers.

The leader of the community, Reverend Paul Olabisi, told Starr FM that the arrangement is satisfactory. He offered assurances that Nigerians in Ghana will do their best to get all members of the community to secure the documents they need before the ultimatum expires.

Nigeria and Ghana have been engaged in a mild diplomatic row over the eviction of Nigerians who are involved in the retail business in Ghana. Some weeks ago, the Nigerian government threatened to challenge Ghana before the council of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), accusing Ghana of harassing its citizens.

However, the Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, swiftly denied the allegations, insisting that Ghana was simply enforcing its retail laws, which bar foreigners from engaging in the retail business.

E A Alanore

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