The Presidential Committee on Retail Trade under the Ministry of Trade and Industry is embarking on the closure of shops belonging to foreigners particularly Nigerians engaged in retail trade at the Odo Rise area at Circle in Accra.
This comes a day after similar exercise took place at Tiptoe Lane at Circle yesterday [Thursday] amid resistance from some of the traders operating businesses without the requisite documents.
According to the committee, the closure of the shops is to ensure that foreigners adhere to the directives regarding retail trade in Ghana.
A Member of the Presidential Committee on Retail Trade, Nana Kwabena Peprah, speaking to Citi News, said, “We are continuing what we started yesterday. That is all we are doing. We have been checking their documents since. So now, all we are doing is locking the shops and placing notices on them so that the notices will direct them as to what to do. When they do the needful, we’ll open the shops for them. Other than that, they will remain closed.”
“Now we have beefed up the security. There’s no problem now. As for today, we have not encountered any problem at all. If it will continue on Monday, that is what we are going to do. As we move along, if we encounter any problem, we will strategize and see what as a committee, we will do.”
Meanwhile, one of the Nigerian traders, Francis Olisa, who accused the committee of charging an unapproved amount of money for the acquisition of a business operating document described the exercise as unfair.
“Are we not human beings? Why are they doing this? I want to know. Is it a crime to be in Ghana? If it is a crime, they should make us sell off our things and go home. I have two shops. They have been seized. I have my workers, registration and business permit. I have everything. I registered in 2007. So I want to know the problem. If they are asking me to bring US$1 million, how can I afford it? The taskforce is asking me to bring that amount of money otherwise they would lock the shops. And they practically locked them without checking my documents. I can’t afford US$1 million. I have my resident permit. I have my registration. I pay my tax and they give us amounts to pay and I have paid it,” he complained.