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Business News of Sunday, 25 July 2021


ECOWAS Parliament: Decision to review Ghana’s retail trade laws 'laughable' – GUTA

President of GUTA, Dr. Joseph Obeng play videoPresident of GUTA, Dr. Joseph Obeng

The Ghana Union of Traders Association has described the latest move by the Ghanaian ECOWAS delegation to review retail trade laws as ‘laughable’.

This comes after the leader of Ghana’s delegation to the sub-regional parliament, Alexander Afenyo-Markin stated all unfair trade practices in both Ghana and Nigeria be put to an end.

In an interaction with GhanaWeb in a response to an earlier report published by KaspaFMOnline, Dr Obeng pointed that the ECOWAS Parliament has been ‘biased’ toward Ghanaians since the inception of the retail trade impasse between Ghana and Nigeria.

“The ECOWAS Parliament’s decision to review the GIPC Act is rather laughable and unthinkable because what is the locus of ECOWAS? Their mandate is not to review sovereign laws of countries. I am however not surprised as to why the ECOWAS Parliament is not succeeding with most of their policies”

“They openly supported and endorsed the closure of Nigerian borders citing that the member states were abusing the rule of origin. Why is it that the same rules of origin cannot be endorsed in Ghana when their investment law is against dumping of goods from other countries outside the ECOWAS jurisdiction?”

“It seems that they are confused and they do not know what they are doing. Their mandate is to monitor and enforce their own rules and engagement especially with regards to the rules of origin which is a cardinal principle of the sub-regional trade pact” Dr. Joseph Obeng stressed.

“We need to ask Alexander Afenyo Markin what case his delegation at the ECOWAS parliament were able to make when Nigeria closed its borders siting abuse of the rules of origin by member states as their reason,” the GUTA president quizzed.

Already, the Trade Union body has kicked against plans by government to review the GIPC Act which permits Nigerian retailers to facilitate trade in Ghana.

GUTA president Dr. Joseph Obeng had earlier called the decision ‘as a slap in the face’ for the retail trading community in Ghana and he believes it will further worsen the plight of Ghanaian retailers who are already struggling to make ends meet in the retail trade sector.

The Ghana Union of Traders Association back in December 2019, locked up over six hundred shops belonging to Nigerian retailers at Nkrumah Circle in Accra.

The move was replicated in Kumasi, Ashanti region as most of the shops belonging to Nigerian traders were also forced to shut down that year after Ghanaian traders alleged that Nigerian traders had taken over the retail business in the country.

The decision caused a clash between Ghanaian traders and Nigerian traders leading to the arrest of some persons involved while others were badly injured.