Ghanaian traders at Opera Square in Accra on Tuesday locked up shops belonging to foreign nationals involved in retail business. Most of the shops are believed to belong to Nigerians.
This is the third time such an incident is happening at the same venue; the most recent was in July this year.
It is unclear the number of shops that were closed today.
“According to what I heard, over 50…maybe less. We are not sure,” said Chukuemeka Nnaji, President of the Nigerian Union of Traders Association of Ghana.
Citinewsroom, however, reports over 50 shops had been locked up by midday.
The Ghanaian traders said the activities of the foreign nationals contravene Section 27 of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) Act 865. The law bars foreign nationals from:
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
the operation of taxi or car hire service in an enterprise that has a fleet of less than twenty-five vehicles;
the operation of a beauty salon or a barbershop;
the printing of recharge scratch cards for the use of subscribers of telecommunication services; e. the production of exercise books and other basic stationery;
the retail of finished pharmaceutical products;
the production, supply and retail of sachet water; and
all aspects of pool betting business and lotteries, except football pool.
The traders say they are forced to carry out the operations following the government’s failure to enforce the GIPC laws.
“If police will not do it, we will do it ourselves,” said one of the traders. “It has been many years since we started this activity, the Police is not willing to help us. So we have to help ourselves, protect our laws.”
This action comes just four days after a similar operation was carried out by members of GUTA in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region. Myjoyonline.com reports that several shops belonging to Nigerians in at least five markets in Kumasi were locked up last Thursday.
The Public Relations Officer of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), Albert Offei, had told Joy News last Thursday the action would soon be extended to other parts of the country.