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Resolve our issue or risk losing 2020 elections – GUTA warns gov’t

The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) is warning of dire consequences on the electoral fortunes of the Akufo-Addo administration in the 2020 elections.

According to the association, the government’s inability to find a lasting solution to the issue of foreigners invading the country’s retail market and the closure of the Benin-Nigeria border will do them more harm than good.

According to the Greater Accra Regional Secretary of GUTA, Nana Poku, the crisis in that sector has brought untold hardship to many Ghanaians especially traders.

Speaking on Citi FM/TV’s The Big Issue on Saturday, Nana Poku said the President and his party will pay the price if the issues continue unabated.

“If these laws are not paving way for your people to be happy, it’s now time for government to sit up and say let us save our people. The Nigerians are saving their own. So why is our government sitting down? We don’t do politics but I am telling Nana Akufo-Addo that, if he doesn’t do something about these issues, it will go a very long way to affect the NPP and his second chance or even the next person who will be coming.”

GUTA is demanding the closure of all retail shops belonging to foreigners by Monday with claims that the government has not fulfilled its promise of ridding the market of such traders despite several appeals.

Already, the Association has begun serving these foreign traders with eviction notices, and have already locked up a few adding that they cannot tolerate the foreigners anymore.

GUTA has on several occasions complained about what they say is the collapse of their businesses due to the invasion of foreigners in the retail business.

According to them, the activities of the foreigners breach the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre’s Act (Act 865).

‘Cease fire’ – Trade Ministry appeals to GUTA

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Trade and Industry has called for calm among the angry retailers to exercise restraint and not take the laws into their own hands.

Deputy Minister-in-charge of Trade and Industry,  Carlos Kingsley Ahenkorah, said that even though it was obvious to them that some foreigners were breaking the law by engaging in retail businesses in the Ghanaian market, the retailers must exercise patience as the government finds ways to resolve their issue.

“I want to plead with my fellow GUTA members that no matter what the issue may be, they shouldn’t go on this tangent, they should exercise restraint. Ideally, it is not a law that lies in the bosom of the Trade Ministry, it is the GIPC that has that mandate but they [traders] see the Trade Ministry as their mother ministry or a ministry that is supposed to take care of their wellbeing. We are capable of solving this problem but we are just pleading with them to hold fire so that we don’t create a situation where people will start reading different meanings into the situation,” Carlos Ahenkorah appealed.

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