The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) is demanding the implementation of the Ghana Investment Promotion Council (GIPC’s) law on protecting local enterprises as the Centre works to review aspects of its laws.
According to the association,. the development which in its view has been given little attention over the years, has affected local businesses adversely.
Per Section 27 of the GIPC Act 865, “A person who is not a citizen or an enterprise which 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,”
Other areas highlighted include; the operation of taxis or car hire service in an enterprise that has a fleet of less than 25 vehicles, the operation of a beauty salon or a barber shop as well as the printing of recharge scratch cards for the use of subscribers of telecommunication services.
Speaking to Citi Business News on the matter, Executive Member of GUTA, Benjamin Yeboah bemoaned the dominance of foreigners in the Ghanaian markets despite laws to protect locals, hence stated that the law must be enforced before any review of the law is done.
“This GIPC law Act 865 was reviewed in 2013 and GUTA played a big role in that in helping to make sure that certain portions were reviewed. We now have all that we have been crying for all these years but there should be enforcement of the law which hasn’t happened so GUTA will keep putting that pressure on each government that comes in to enforce the law”
He added that while the current laws need enforcement any review of the law should be done in consultation with all relevant stake holders.
“The law hasn’t been put to work much because as you know the foreigners are still in the market because we so we say that if there should be any amendment of the law we should know because there are certain portions which are very sensitive to us”.
Meanwhile the Ghana Investment Promotion Center (GIPC) is calling for calm amongst members of the Ghana Union Traders Association (GUTA).
In an interview with Citi Business News, the CEO of the GIPC, Mr. Yoofi Grant assured any review of the law will be done in consultation with the concerned stake holders to protect their interest.
“At this point we haven’t gotten to the point where we will say we are taking anything out of the law or adding anything to it we are still in consultation we want to broadly exhaust the debate and listen to all sides pertinent to that decision, so I won’t say this is what is going to happen to it or this is not going to happen.”
According to Mr Grant, the GIPC is working in the best interest of Ghanaian businesses to make sure they dominate the greater part of the economy
“We are also looking to see that Ghanaians participate in the juiciest part of the economy that is where we have a strategic advantage”.
He added, “I think it was stated in the last budget that by the end of this quarter, we should be looking to commence the process and the process is not just taking the law; there is going to be a drafting of the new law and then it’s going to go to the economic management team and they will look at it and see whether it is in line with our economic development plan or not”.