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GUTA Demands Dismissal Of Osafo-Maafo

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The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) says it is highly disappointed at the recent utterances of Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo-Maafo, during a recent conference on the Africa Continental Free Trade Area in Accra.

At the ceremony, Osafo-Maafo condemned efforts being taken by Ghanaian local businesses to push foreigners out of the country’s retail businesses.

While the local businesses say they are enforcing the laws which bar foreign nationals from participating in retail businesses, the senior Minister claimed, the locals are just “worried about competition”.

”As you listen to the contributors, people are worried of Nigerians getting into their market, people are worried about competition. Is the Nigerian market not bigger than your market?”

According to him, Ghanaians have equally the same opportunity to get into the Nigerian market, with a size of about 200 million people.

This, the association believed, was in bad taste and an affront to efforts by local traders to make the country’s laws work.

General Secretary of the Greater Accra Regional branch of the Association, Nana Poku, in an interview with The New Publisher, said the local traders had taken exception to the comments made by the senior Minister.

”What the senior Minister said was not right. Nigerians have, in their own wisdom, banned 41 items, which no one can enter the country with. The Nigerian market, as he claims, is not open to all. That’s a fallacy. Mr. Osafo-Maafo was talking from euphoria considering the benefits Ghana stands to get from the Africa Continental Free Trade, but it’s unfortunate for a senior minister, who is aware of the GIPC law, to say that” he said.

He said the Senior Minister’s comments make a complete mockery of the fight against the influx of foreigners into retail business in the country.

”What we are calling for is a customized policy that will regulate the retail business. We need a complete trade policy, which we don’t have in the country. Even if it’s there, it’s in a way, lost.” he added.

According to him, ”in order to bring all together, we need a complete retail trade policy which will regulate the sector in terms of the dos and don’ts within the sector, and at the same time, regulate foreigners as to what to do”

Mr Poku, however said they are not against foreign investors or foreign companies investing in the Ghanaian economy, but want the right things being done fairly per the Ghanaian laws.

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