The government has condemned the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) for encouraging their members to close shops that belong to Nigerian nationals in Kumasi, as a retaliation to the closure of the Nigeria-Benin border.
In a radio interview on Accra based Starr FM on Thursday, the Deputy Minister of Trade, Mr Carlos Ahenkorah said unlawful act by GUTA members could trigger a bigger trade impasse between Ghana and Nigeria.
He said the sheer size of Nigeria’s economy requires that some amount of tact is applied when dealing with their citizens in Ghana.
GUTA members in Kumasi on Wednesday went round and closed some shops which belong to Nigerian nationals.
The incident happened at Alarbar, the Adehyeman Gardens area and Kejetia.
In reacting to the Deputy Minister’s comment in the radio interview, the GUTA Financial Secretary in the Ashanti Region, Maxwell Bamfoh said their members will return to the markets in Kumasi to continue the closure of retail shops, which belong to foreigners.
He said they were doing that in reaction to government’s failure to enforce the law which bans foreigners from engaging in retail trade.
He added that he was disappointed at the comment of the Deputy Minister of Trade.
But, Mr Ahenkorah said shutting down the shops is not the appropriate means of redress.
On his part, the Manhyia Divisional Police Commander, ACP Kwaku Boah advised GUTA members not to take the law into their own hands.
He urged them to use the appropriate means to address their grievances.
The association has for some time now waged war on foreigners doing retail business in the country.
According to the group, they have been left with no choice than to move into the markets and lock the shops up themselves because the law enforcement agencies fail to do their work.
GUTA has backed its decision on section 27 of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) Act 865 which frowns on foreigners in engaging in retail trades.