Ghana-Nigeria retail fight: GUTA President speaks to YEN.com.gh on "victory" verdict by Trade Ministry

Ghana-Nigeria retail fight: GUTA President speaks to YEN.com.gh on "victory" verdict by Trade Ministry

  • President of the Ghana Union of Traders Association spoke publicly with YEN.com.gh on the recent dispute between Ghana and Nigeria.
  • Dr. Joseph Obeng External Trade Committee is now happy with the closure of Nigerian merchants' stores
  • Trade disputes in Ghana and Nigeria have been going on for over a decade

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Explaining this as an end to the ongoing tensions between Ghana and foreign traders, the Foreign Trade Committee of the Trade Department takes on a new position as the sole authority with the power to close the shops of unlicensed traders.

Ghana-Nigeria retail fight: GUTA President speaks to YEN.com.gh on "victory" verdict by Trade Ministry
Ghana-Nigeria retail fight: GUTA President speaks to YEN.com.gh on "victory" verdict by Trade Ministry
Source: Getty Images

Speaking to YEN.com.gh, Dr. Joseph Obeng, president of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), said it was the beginning of the end of the trade dispute between the two countries.

"Happily, the law has finally reached us Ghanaian retailers. That means, in this case, the retail committee will close stores, not GUTA," he said.

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Meanwhile, Nigerian traders were frustrated and upset by this latest decision. President Chukwumeka Nanaji expressed dissatisfaction with the proposal.

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"This is not right for Nigerians. So some have lost their documents and should be expelled from the market because of this? This decision is not right and we will inform our leaders in Nigeria," he told com.gh in an interview.

Minister of State for Commerce Ohneba Dokuwa, head of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) and Nigerian Union Traders Association of Ghana (NUTAG) leadership, declined to comment on the outcome of the Asia-Adji emergency meeting. However, GUTA President Dr. Joseph Obeng further explained the decision.

"In this situation, GUTA has washed its hands. These undocumented dealers from Nigeria and abroad will close their stores until they provide the required documents," he explained.

The Ghana Union of Traders (GUTA) has previously approached Parliament Speaker Alban Baghbin, announcing that Nigerian traders will be released under the GIPC for less than $ 1 million.

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Dr. Joseph Obeng called the review revengeful and hateful to the Ghanaian business community. Ghanaian traders have decided to go the extra mile, including protesting, to protect the trade sector.

"We oppose any attempt by the 1992 Constitution to seize the sole market for sale. The 8th Parliament, through Speaker Alban Baghbin, has made no attempt to review or change the GIPC Act, which guarantees that foreign traders, including Nigerians, pay less than $ 1 million." If that happened then GUTA would be ready for a nationwide protest, "said Dr. Joseph Obeng.

Ghana-Nigeria Joint Business Summit

Ghana and Nigeria joint meeting during the ECOWAS Extraordinary Summit exempted Nigerians from the minimum wage of Rs 1 million under the GIPC Act 2013, which prevented them from doing business in the Ghana retail market.

The announcement was made by Parliament Speaker Alban Baghbin at the Nigerian House of Representatives last week. According to Alban Bagbin, the intervention ended 25 years of conflict between Ghana and Nigeria.

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"... the main concern is to reconsider the requirement of 1 million commercial establishments under Section 28 (2). This is to facilitate the commercialization of Nigerian traders involved in the trade crisis. Our Parliament is working to ensure that" this does not apply to our Nigerian brothers and sisters, "said Speaker Alban Bagbin.

Nigerian shops are closing

The Ghana Union of Traders Association has set a deadline in May to close stores selling unnamed foreign traders.

Speaking on the occasion, GUTA President Dr. Joseph Obeng said the project would cover retail markets in Kumasi, Accra, Takoradi and the Central Region.

"The team that intended to close the shops is temporarily out of action. We will resume art in May 2021. In the meantime, we have identified large areas in Kumasi, Accra, Takoradi and other areas. All of this is in accordance with the law," he said.

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Trade Department and GUTA Statistics Approximately 200 retail outlets were closed for undocumented foreign traders in Accra and Kumasi.

"None of the 200 stores showed valid documents. This gives us more reasons to close them," he said.

To this day, Chief Enchem Tony Onegolu (former Nigerian-President of the Unrest Zone) calls on the President of Ghana to issue an order to reopen Nigerian retailer shops.

Source: Yen

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