Nigerian traders in Ghana have appealed to the Government not to flush them out of the Ghanaian market, adding that the action if carried out would equally go against countless Ghanaian traders living in Nigeria and conducting business.
This was put forward at a press conference by the Chief Executive Officer of Start in Ghana Investment Limited, Yahaya Alhassan, warning of an impending trade war between Ghana and Nigeria.
The Nigerian traders called for the amendment of portions of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) Act that bars foreigners from engaging in retail business activities in the country.
The Nigerians indicated that they have lived and contributed immensely towards the development of Ghana, as the same can be said of Ghanaians living in Nigeria.
“We have passed the notorious eras of 1969 and 1983 and there are intermarriages among us, with Ghana having no trusted friend or neighbor other than Nigeria.”
Nigerians, he said, should be exempted from the GIPC Act that prevents foreigners from doing business in the country because there are Ghanaians in Nigeria who are engaging in petty trading.
“We want an amendment or complete scrap of the Act so that it would not include West African States. If you go to Togo or Benin, you will find Ghanaians selling ‘waakye’ so it is only fair that we reciprocate that gesture here,” he added.
Under section 27(1)(a) of the GIPC Act, foreigners are barred from engaging 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 decision follows a petition by the Ghana Union of Traders Association’s (GUTA) to government to give a deadline to foreign retailers in the country to move out of the market.
By William Sarpong