Some traders at Tiptoe Lane near the Kwame Nkrumah Circle Interchange in Accra clashed Tuesday after some six assailants alleged to be Nigerians broke into several Ghanaian-owned shops at dawn.
The irate Ghanaian traders, some of whom have had their shops broken into, expressed frustrations to TV3‘s Solace-Rose Quartey, calling on the government to immediately implement the GIPC Law 2013.
“The law must work, that’s all what we are asking for, the GIPC 2017(sic) that prohibits foreigners from working in the market must work,” a representative of the aggrieved Ghanaian traders demanded.
The said law bars foreign nationals from engaging in retail business in the country.
Section 27 (1) of the GIPC Law 2013, (Act 865) states: “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.”
It may be recalled that Ghana on July 11, 2018 issued a public notice to foreigners engaged in retail business to cease by July 27 or face legal action.
The government, however, announced a suspension of notice before the deadline elapsed.
The Nigerian High Commissioner to Ghana had also argued at the time that in the spirit of Ecowas conventions, Nigerian traders in Ghana cannot be regarded as “foreigners”.
But the Ghanaian traders think the law must be implemented to solve the impasse that has existed for some time now.
The main contention of the whole scuffle as followed by 3news.com so far has to do with a building put up directly behind the shops of the aggrieved Ghanaian traders.
The building is such that if it is ready to operate all the shops in front of it would be removed, a situation the traders have resisted from Day 1 up until its completion.
According to them, they came to find some of the shops in front of the building broken and others locked up without notice.
They claim the owner of that building is a Nigerian, the more reason they are asking government to intervene.
Meanwhile, Head of the Rapid Response Unit at the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, Moses Abor, who was at the scene with his team to maintain calm, admitted that the citing of the building was not in accordance with the agreed layout.
“I will allow you to open the shop but I won’t allow you to open here, so if they want to operate I have no problem, they should go by the rules and regulations that we did.”
He was, however, not clear whether indeed the building is owned by a Nigerian as alleged or not.