President of the Nigeria Union of Traders Association, Chuwkwuemeka Levi Nnaji has taken a swipe at the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) for locking the shops of Nigerian traders in Ghana some months ago.
Nigerian traders at Tip Toe Lane at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle in Accra had their shops locked eight months ago after they were said to have breached retail trading laws.
Per Ghana Investment Promotion Centre’s (GIPC) law, foreigners are barred from engaging in retail business in Ghana, as the space is solely reserved for citizens.
Following several calls and documents of proof by the traders allowing their stay and business activities in the country, they have now had their shops opened.
Speaking in exclusive interview with the President, Mr. Nnaji stated that GUTA had and has no right to lock their shops.
According to him, GUTA cannot be recognised as an institution but a union so they should mind their business and not interfere in the affairs of Nigerian traders in Ghana.
“GUTA is not an institution that has the right to shake, they have no right. They are just a business union and they should mind their own business,” he stated.
The leader of the Nigerian traders further admonished government to control the actions of GUTA as that can lead to chaos if not checked.
“Government must not allow them to work the way they are working because they’re creating chaotic situations in the society. We are in a democratic country – if you allow such things to happen, it looks like you’re allowing kangaroos to work in a system that is well organised,” he said.
Revealing the hardships the Nigerians went through during the period, Mr. Nnaji disclosed that “for the eight months that shops of Nigerian traders in Ghana were closed, it has been hell. Most of our brothers that ply their trade there passed through a lot of hardships. As their leader, it was a terrible time for me because a lot of people kept trooping here asking of when they’re going to open up and start their business again.”
Some Ghanaian traders expressing their views following the reopening of the Nigerian traders’ shops said they have no problem with the foreigners getting back into business at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle.
However, they want the Nigerian traders to comply with rules as they have been told to deal in wholesale business and not retail trading activities.