The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) Greater Accra Regional branch, has given a 31st October, 2017 ultimatum to government to flush out foreigners in retail business or face their wrath.
The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) Act, Act 865, prevented expatriates from doing petty trading in designated markets and not retail trade but since this provision has not been enforced it has paved way for foreigners to enter into retail business.
Section 27 sub-section (1) (a) of the Ghana Investment Promotion Council (GIPC) Act 865 clearly states that “a person who is not a citizen or an enterprise which is not wholly owned by citizen shall not invest in or participate in the sale of goods or provision of services in a market, petty trading or hawking or selling of goods in a stall at any place.”
Members of GUTA threaten to stop filing their VAT returns and other taxes if government fails to stop these expatriates from engaging in the retail business.
“As a Union, we are law abiding citizens, so we are giving our law enforcement agencies and the authorities of our dear country to ensure that these illegal foreign operators leave our market by the end of October, 2017,” The Greater Accra Regional Secretary of GUTA, Nana Poku said in his address at a press conference on Tuesday.
“GUTA Greater Accra Region is ever ready to defend its position, reason being that, traders will not pay taxes if foreigners continue their unlawful trading activities in our various markets which the laws of the land prohibits,” he added.
Nana Poku also accused the foreigners who are into retail business of engaging in money laundering.
“The ripple effects in this lawlessness on the part of these foreigners is what we are all witnessing today of some Banks collapsing and the unstable foreign exchange,’ he said.
According to him, the entry of foreigners into the Ghanaian retail market has also led to high cost in shop rentals in various markets across in the country.