The standoff between Ghanaian traders and foreigners, especially Nigerians, operating in the retail space in Ghana may not end any time soon due to lack of consensus on the issue.
According to Citi FM, an Accra-based radio station, a recent meeting between the Ghana Traders Association (GUTA) and the Nigeria Traders Association (NUTAG) at the request of the new presidential task force mandated by the ministry of Commerce to find an amicable solution to the impasse has once again failed to resolve the ongoing trade war.
Some Ghanaian traders have recently closed Nigerian-owned shops in a bid to force them to comply with laws prohibiting foreigners from engaging in retail trade in the country.
Despite the law prohibiting foreigners from engaging in retail trade in Ghana, some foreign nationals continue to engage in such activities in violation of the GIPC Act.
This development and the lack of proper enforcement by regulatory bodies has led to clashes between Ghanaian retailers and their foreign counterparts in some parts of the country.
In September this year, some foreign-owned stores in different parts of the country were forcibly closed.
The Ministry of Trade and Industry then set up a new joint task force made up of GUTA and NUTAG management to help resolve the issue following the failure of a first task force to do so. .
The Ministry of Trade and Industry has also asked GUTA members to refrain from closing foreign-owned stores ahead of a scheduled meeting with leaders of the two unions today, Tuesday, October 5, 2021.
The meeting was, however, inconclusive as NUTAG members said they had yet to brief the government on the latest developments and the way forward.
The Co-Chair of the Joint Ghana-Nigeria Retail Implementation Task Force, Frank Agyekum, said: “Unfortunately, at this meeting, the Nigerians repeated to us that they had not completed their consultation with their government and therefore we could not continue. the meeting. It must be adjourned for another week in the hope that by the time we meet again, the consultation between the Nigerians and their government is complete, and then we can move on.
“In the meantime, the Ministry of Commerce has asked GUTA to also suspend further action until we have a response from the Nigerian government, and then we will know what to do from there,” he said.
Meanwhile, GUTA President Dr. Joseph Obeng said he hoped the next meeting would bring some finality to the matter.
“At the end of it all, it was agreed that this week should be a breakthrough week. And so I think our brothers have clearly understood that they have to comply and from what they say they are going to comply with the laws of Ghana.