Traders in Ghana and Northern Region in particular will hereby commend the efforts of His Excellency Nana Addo Danquah Akufo Addo, the president of Ghana for the various interventions during this COVID-19 period we will also like to congratulate His Excellency Nana Addo Danquah Akufo Addo, on his appointment as the chairman of ECOWAS. It is our prayer that he will execute his duties to the good of all member countries of ECOWAS.
As we are all aware in recent times, the Presidential Committee on Foreigners in Retail Trade have been doing their legitimate work pursuant to the GIPC Act 865. Those foreigners who were found not to have proper documents and were given time to regularize their documents but failed to do so had their shops legally closed down while those who were visited for the first time by the committee were given time to regularize their documents.
With all these legal measures some recalcitrant Nigerian traders started making noise over the exercise by the committee and began misinforming the public, particularly the Nigerian public through social media, press conferences and statements to their government and the ECOWAS Commission and Africa as whole.
As a result, a high-powered delegation from Nigeria led by the Speaker of the House of Representatives Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila visited Ghana to ascertain the truth or otherwise of these allegations. At the end of his visit he made an appeal to our President H. E. Nana Addo Danquah Akufo Addo to see to the review of the GIPC Act 865 to accommodate the Nigerian traders by way of reducing the one million US Dollars the Act imposes on any wholly owned foreign business.
It is against this background that we are reminding the government that:
- That the GIPC law is to protect indigenous traders against non-Ghanaian traders and not only Nigerians, as they also have internal trade laws and regulations favouring only Nigerians against other nationals including Ghanaians that they still enforce in their country without let or hinderance.
- That some chapters in the ECOWAS Trade Liberation Scheme makes it clear that investments and investors are subject to the laws and regulations of the host state especially if their actions are inimical to the growth of the host state.
- That investments and investors must comply with the host State regulations prescribing the formalities of establishing an investment and accept host state jurisdiction with respect to the investment.
So, therefore, we are appealing to the government to:
- Be circumspect with his negotiation with the proposed Ghana Nigeria Business Council so that Ghanaians will not be at a disadvantage.
- We do not also see the rationale behind relaxing our trade laws by way of reviewing the GIPC Act to accommodate Nigerian traders in our Country whiles the trade laws in their country is still intact.
We are by this release appealing to His Excellency the President not to succumb to these Nigerian pressures as Ghanaian Traders will not take it kindly should government proceed in that direction.
ALHAJ HARUNA YASABA
Chairman, Northern Region GUTA