Though its ultimatum to the government for it to start enforcing laws that bar foreigners from retail trade has ended, the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) says it is not too late for the government to do the right thing.
Speaking to Citi News and monitored by hypeghnewsroom.com, the National Welfare Officer of GUTA, Benjamin Yeboah, said the association is currently assessing the situation after the apparent non-action from the government.
“We never said in our deadline that we will act immediately…we will assess the situation and decide on the line of action.”
Mr. Yeboah however assured that its response to the lack of action will be felt nationwide though he remained tight-lipped on the details.
“Whether it will be a demonstration or closure of shops or whatever, we are keeping that under our sleeves.”
This notwithstanding, he added that the government still had the opportunity to start enforcing the laws.
“It is never too late for those who are breaking the law or flouting it to start mending their ways and leaving the market. It is never too late for the institutions who are mandated by law to start working.”
The law, in section 27 (1) of the GIPC Act, states that any person who is not a citizen or an enterprise that is not wholly-owned by a citizen shall not invest 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.
But the government has not been enforcing the law and instead leans towards diplomacy in handling the resulting tensions.
Tensions have led to local traders locking up shops of foreign traders among other clashes.
The most intense tensions have been at the Opera Square Market, where foreign traders’ shops have been locked up on multiple occasions.
Other attempts at the enforcement of the law sparked confusion in Suame Magazine in Kumasi leading to the shops of some Nigerian traders being ransacked with threats of further violence.
Police in the Ashanti Region intervened and assured Nigerian traders at Suame Magazine that it was safe for them to return.