Mr Koranteng Asiamah, the Chairman for the Ghana Electrical Dealers Association (GEDA), has urged government to ensure that the laws regulating foreign retail trade in the country are enforced.

He said any attempts by government to change the existing laws in favour of foreigners would not augur well for the country.

Mr Asiamah said this on Monday at a press conference held in Accra to communicate their displeasure concerning the influx of foreigners into the retail trade, which is creating tension with Ghanaian retail traders.

He said the recent action of the traders in Kumasi Suame towards Nigerians was necessitated by the negligence of duty and complete failure of state authorities to monitor and enforce the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) Law.

He said Ghanaian retail traders are classified as third-class citizens and that government was ready to do things in favour of illegal foreigners in the retail business.

“Our neighbouring countries are busy implementing their laws to the letter. Just recently, Nigeria deported four Ghanaians who they say have flouted their immigration laws. They have the right to implement their laws but we cannot do the same,” he added.

The Chairman said even though ECOWAS citizens want to enter countries in the name of ECOWAS Protocols, they should note that the Protocol does not allow one to stay or work in that country without permit.

He said there is a 90-day window of opportunity for any ECOWAS citizen to stay in another ECOWAS country of which they are required to leave after the said days and could even choose to go and come back.

Mr Asiamah said, if someone wants to stay permanently, they could go through the necessary permit process of which Ghana was no exception.

“Asia, Europe and America want to come and do business in Ghana, they are welcomed but our investment laws must be obeyed,” he added.

He said most Ghanaian traders had lost their capital and that they could no longer pay their shop rent due to exorbitant charges being demanded by landlords.

Mr Asiamah said there could not be peace in the country without the provision of adequate security for the citizens in terms of jobs, especially where miscreant foreigners wanted to take citizens for granted.

“We have realized that for over twenty years, past and present governments have been dealing with this issue, scratching surfaces and leaving us traders at the mercy of ourselves.

“Fourteen days is the time limit we have given to the government for full implementation of the GIPC Act 865 Sections 27 and 28.

“We are not only traders protecting our jobs but also citizens who will not give up the demand for the enforcement of the laws for which the state institutions were established, financed and paid with our tax money,” he noted.

Mr Patrick Osei Brogya, Vice-President for the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), said the union was fully aware of all that had transpired with regard to retail trade and had decided not to keep mute anymore but to voice out their grievances.

He urged all retail workers to come on board to help make their plight known to the government and that their silence could lead to a complete collapse of their businesses.

There were other representatives from GUTA, Circle Mobile Phone Dealers Association, Fishing Net Sellers, Abbosey Okai Spare Parts Dealers, Stationary Sellers, Electrical Appliances Traders, among others.

Source: GNA