NUTAG Calls For Harmonization Of GIPC Law 865

Chief Chukwumeka Nnaji, Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Traders Association Ghana has called on the Government of Ghana to harmonize the GIPC Law 865, section 27 & 28 which restrains foreigners from engaging in retail business in order to remove the conflict between locals and foreign traders.

“We have called on the Government of Ghana to harmonize the GIPC Law 865, section27 & 28 that GUTA is using to terrorise Nigerian traders in Ghana,” he said.

Speaking to the public on Eye on Port’s interactive platform, live on national television, on cross-border trade in Ghana, its strengths and weaknesses as well as opportunities and accompanying threats, the Chairman of NUTAG, stated vehemently that Nigerians, per ECOWAS Protocols, have the right to engage in economic activities in member states, which Ghana is a member.

“What we were made to understand is that Ghana may have been protecting local businessesbut as ECOWAS members we have the right to do business in the Ghanaian market. That is what ECOWAS protocols say,” he said.

Nigerians targeted?

He stated that in his opinion the aggressive campaign to drive away foreign retailers from the country is clearly an attack against Nigerians in particular as recent actions prove that other foreigners are not met with the same aggression.

“The information I had received is that shops belonging to other foreigners were not closed so the aggression is being targeted at Nigerians and not other foreigners,” he opined.

No ambiguity

But the Greater Accra Regional Chairman of the Ghanaian Union of Traders,David Kwadwo Amoateng, on the same programme, debunked his claim and maintained that there is no ambiguity in laws of Ghana as against the ECOWAS protocols.

“The ECOWAS protocols state that a member state can do business with another state iffor example, a Ghanaian wants to do business in another country the goods that he/she will take there should be manufactured in Ghana,” he disclosed.

He accused the Nigerian traders of violating the protocol on import of trade among countries and rather taking undue advantage to indulge in illegalities.

“The ECOWAS protocol did not state that a member state should go to the far east, import goods and clear them in their country for revenue to stay in their country and then load them onto trucks and transport them to another state,” he added.

He said ever since the infiltration of foreigners, into the country, there’s been an outburst of inferior and substandard goods in the market, and Ghanaian retailers who sell durable goods, suffer due to price violations.

Inferior goods

“Until the infiltration of foreigners, cables sold at Opera Square were imported from England. It is my first time I have seen cables loaded on trucks and been retailed at incredible discounts,” he stated.

But Franklin Cudjoe, the President of IMANI Ghana, who was also a panellist on the live TV program charged state agencies to be proactive.

“Even if the Ghanaian laws allow other nationals to do retailing in Ghana it is the mandate of Ghana Standard Authority to make sure that goods brought to the markets are quality and nothing of this nature happens,” he stated.

He also called for clarity in the interpretation of the GIPC Laws on trading.

“It is important that the laws are clearer and should be in sync with the West African Protocols. We need to be clearer on what ought to be done in our markets,” he added.

Cost of doing business

The IMANI boss also urged Ghanaian traders to be competitive both in production and pricing in order to sustain their customers.

“Our cost of doing business as a country is a bit high. It can be testified by GUTA that borrowing rate in Ghana is very high. Why are foreigners able to import goods from the same markets as Ghanaians, pay duties and still sell goods at cheaper prices,” he quizzed.

The leader of the think-tank advocacy group said the focus should be on strategizing and setting up ECOWAS fundamentals where Ghanaians are able to borrow at a lower rate so they can invest and expand their businesses.

Stay Calm

The Chairman of NUTAG advised his compatriots whose shops have been locked up by their Ghanaian counterparts to remain calm.

“I want them to have patience especially those whose shops have been locked at Circle. We are believing that GUTA will live up to the expectation and open the shops as they promised,” he urged.

He advised both Ghanaians and Nigerians to live in harmony and work together to learn from each other for the overall goal of commercial success of the sub-region.

The GUTA Regional Chairman charged the Government of Ghana to as a matter of urgency review its trade policies and implementation strategies to safeguard the national economy.


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