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Regional News of Thursday, 17 July 2014


Police reopen Nigerian shops in Kumasi

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More than 30 policemen yesterday broke open all the padlocks put on spare parts shops belonging to Nigerian businessmen at Suame in Kumasi.

The shops, numbering more than 30, were forcibly locked up by some members of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) who claimed that under the country’s trade laws, foreigners, including Nigerians, were not allowed to engage in retail trade.

But the Nigerians refuted the allegations and indicated that they had fulfilled all the legal requirements before operating their businesses in Ghana.

The police had to use force to break the padlocks because the members of GUTA had reneged on the agreement they reached with the Ashanti Regional Police Command to amicably open the shops after the command had met with the traders and their Nigerian counterparts.

Last Monday, some unidentified traders closed down more than 30 shops belonging to Nigerian businessmen in the Suame business enclave in Kumasi, alleging that the Nigerians engaged in retail trade in contravention of the law.

The traders, believed to be members of GUTA, claimed that the Nigerians were into retail trade, in contravention of the laws of Ghana.

But according to the Nigerians, they had fulfilled all the legal requirements before operating their businesses.

During the exercise yesterday, the police were led by the Nigerian shop owners to break open all the padlocks of their shops for them to operate.

Briefing the Daily Graphic just after the operation, ACP Kwaku Boadu-Peprah, the Suame Divisional Commander, said the local traders had agreed, after a meeting, to amicably open the shops.

Surprisingly, he said, the police were later informed that the shops were still under the locks of the GUTA members and that the police had no option but to break open the padlocks to allow the Nigerians to trade.

He cautioned that anyone who would go contrary to the law would be dealt with accordingly.

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