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Politics of Friday, 27 July 2018

Source: citinewsroom.com

Don’t amend law on foreign retailers, sack them – Pelpuo

The Member of Parliament for Wa Central, Abdul-Rashid Pelpuo, has urged the government of Ghana to turn a blind eye to the request of Nigerians in Ghana for an amendment of Section 27 (1) of the GIPC Law of the GIPC Act which prohibits foreigners from operating in the retail business sector.

According to the former Minister of State in charge of Public-Private Partnership, whose administration failed to implement the same law, an amendment of that law must only be done at the request of Ghanaian traders, since the law was established to protect them.

“They shouldn’t call for the amendment; Ghanaians should call for the amendment. It is not a foreigner who will come to your country and say, amend your laws. … Let’s enforce the existing laws.” “When we see that by enforcing them we’re losing the opportunity of investment, then we are compelled by ourselves to amend the laws to allow inflow; not to compete with the indigenes who are doing business at the retail level but by investing to employ them to create more value.”

Rashid Pelpuo, who was speaking on Citi TV’s Breakfast Daily show, further called for strict enforcement of the law to the maximum benefit of every Ghanaian trader.

“There are existing laws and regulations about the domestic trade to protect those who are indigenes in the retail business. Quite recently we did another law in the oil industry, downstream operations; that those should be reserved for Ghanaians and yet it doesn’t work.”

“In Ghana, we don’t enforce our laws, and if we enforce them, somebody will torpedo the whole thing. Frankly, I don’t think we should even be going there now. It is full of sound and fury. Let’s enforce the law that we have now. Let’s enforce the existing laws.”

Marketplace Tensions

Per the GIPC Law, Section 27 (1) of the GIPC Act, “a person who is not a citizen or an enterprise which is not wholly owned by a citizen shall not invest or participate in 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”.

But this law has not been enforced to the ire of Ghanaian retailers. The government has now suspended a decision to implement the law despite giving a deadline to do so.

A Deputy Trade and Industry Minister, Carlos Ahenkorah, has told Citi News that the foreigners have been making appeals to government and so they need to be diplomatic about it by sensitizing them enough before they take action.