PRESS CONFERENCE ISSUED BY THE GHANA ELECTRICAL DEALERS ASSOCIATION AND OTHER SISTER ASSOCIATIONS IN ACCRA
THEME: GET THE FOREIGNERS WHO HAVE NOT COMPLIED WITH OUR INVESTMENT LAWS (ACT 865) OUT FROM OUR MARKET.
Fellow Traders, Friends from the Media, Ladies and Gentlemen. Our purpose here this morning is to express our solidarity with our fellow traders in Kumasi, who took the destiny into their hands to ensure that the GIPC Act 2013 (Act 865) Section 27 (1) a, is enforced to the latter to save their jobs. We are quite aware, followed events and can confidently say that the action of the Kumasi traders was necessitated by the negligence of duty and complete failure of state authorities to monitor and enforce the GIPC Law.
This indeed led to a complete invasion of some foreigners in retail trade into the market, which is reserved for the citizens. What everybody need to know is that, the law does not ban foreigners from doing retail trade, but has provided some conditions to be fulfilled in order to avoid friction with the citizens as we are witnessing today, due to the failure of the authorities charged with the responsibility of monitoring and enforcement of the law, to carry out their duty. One cannot deny the fact that the failure of the authorities to be proactive has produced this effect. Natural law of cause and effect at play here. Why then not blame the real cause and ask them to do the right thing they are supposed to do and ensure sanity.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Ghana traders are in the state of despondency. In fact, we are down hearted and very sad, that in our own country we are classified as third class citizens to the extent that Government is ready to do things in favour of the illegal foreigners in our retail business all in the name of reprised attacks. Meanwhile, our neighboring countries are busy implementing their laws to the latter. Just recently, Nigeria deported four (4) Ghanaians who they say have flouted their immigration laws. They have the right to implement their laws but we cannot do same.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Ghana is an independent state so our trader laws and policies should be implemented. Ecowas citizens want to come to our countries in the name of Ecowas Protocols. Ecowas Protocol does not say that you can go any of the Ecowas countries and work or stay there without permit. There is 90 days window of opportunity for any Ecowas citizen to stay in another Ecowas country of which you are required to leave after the said days, of course you can go and come back. If you want to stay permanently you can go through the necessary permit process, Ghana is no exception.
Asia, Europe and America want to come and do business in Ghana, they are welcome but our investment laws must be obeyed.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Ghanaian traders are in the state of dejection because a lot of members have lost their capital and that has affected the shops to the extent that they cannot pay their rent charges due to exorbitant charges being demanded by Landlords, due to the presence of these illegal immigrants in our country. But we have laws that are supposed to check these unfortunate events.
Ladies and Gentlemen, we could recall that some years ago, members of the trading community noticed and called the attention of the government to some fraudulent and illegal activities perpetrated by some of the foreigners, which could weaknesses disastrous consequence on our economy, but the concerns have not been heeded to. Now that the effect of the failure is emerging with the consequence, the authorities are desperate in pretending to be working. The plain truth we all need to know is that there cannot be peace without provision of adequate security for the citizens in terms of jobs, especially where miscreant foreigners want to take citizens for granted. Ghana is a sovereign country and not a colony, therefore any attempt to shortchange the sovereignty of the people will not augur well for the country. We are traders and also travel to other countries. We noticed how effective and efficient their state institutions work and as a result, we cannot afford to sit on the fence and allow the weaknesses of our state institutions to be the source of empowerment of foreigners to take us hostage in our own country. The only solution to the Kumasi incident is for the government to ensure that the laws of the country regulating the activities of foreign retail trade are enforced to the latter.
Ladies and Gentlemen, any attempt to change the law in favour of foreigners will not augur well for the country. Neither the attempt to use force will succeed, because 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. With regard to ECOWAS, it is only a union and not a state, as rightly mentioned in GUTA’s press statement. The agreement governing ECOWAS must be respected by all citizens of member States without any abusive whilst Ghana’s las as a sovereign country must equally be greatly respected and complied with by all foreigners living in Ghana or visiting the country.
Samuel Asare Addo