Forty six foreign-owned shops have been closed down at Circle in Accra after traders failed to regularize documents, which allows them to continue trading in the country.
There was tension on Thursday at the Tip-toe Lane and Soldier Bar when the Presidential Committee on Retail Trade under the Ministry of Trade and Industry began the exercise.
The taskforce undertaking the exercise said its action is in line with recommendations from the committee probing the impasse between Ghanaian traders and the foreign counterpart.
But in a confrontation with the taskforce, some of the retailers stated that they had taken steps to regularize their documents.
“They haven’t given any reason why they are locking these shops. They said the Minister of Trade and Industry asked them to come there without a reason. Meanwhile, we’ve complied with all they’ve told us to do. Why would they lock the shops? Why can’t they verify if we’ve complied or not? Why are they only interested in locking the shops?,” some worried traders asked.
Security officers aiding the taskforce were compelled to use some amount of force as the foreign retailers continue to resist the closure of their shops.
The Presidential Committee on Retail Trade had given an earlier notice of the closure of shops before Thursday’s exercise.
Public Relations Officer for the Ministry, Prince Boakye-Boateng said the shops were closed due to the failure of some foreigners to adhere to the directives on retail trade in Ghana.
“For Circle, we will be locking some of the shops because they have been given enough notice already.
The shops were initially locked, we asked that they open for proper assessment by the Ministry and for that matter, the Committee. So enough notice has been given already so as we get to Circle, it is about the locking up of shops and not about assessment as done at Abossey Okai.”