Inter Agency Task Force on foreigners in retail reconstituted

The Inter Agency Task Force set up to monitor activities of non-Ghanaians in the trading sector has been reconstituted and charged to ensure that GIPC Act 478 of 1994 were complied with by foreign nationals.

The relevant provision of section 18 of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) Act, 1994, reserves retail trading in the marketplaces exclusively for indigenous Ghanaian operators.

Inaugurating the Task Force at a short ceremony on Monday in Accra, Miss Hanna Tetteh, Minister of Trade and Industry, said though Government recognises the positive economic impact of foreign direct investment, it had reserved small scale retail activity, petty trading, petty trading and hawking exclusively for Ghanaian nationals as a deliberate policy position.

She stressed that the provision in the GIPC Act 1994 is to protect local retailers and to encourage foreign business operators to engage in large scale value added trading activities.

Ms Tetteh said it is Government’s desire to attract more foreign direct investments but added that the investments needed to be the right type and kind that complied with the country’s laws.

She stressed however that the Government primarily aims at protecting and safeguarding the economic interest of the citizenry by helping them sustain small and informal business investments without facing any stiff opposition from foreign nationals.

On how to deal with Ghanaians who fronted for such foreign nationals, Ms Tetteh expressed the hope the Ghana Union of Traders Association, which has members on the Task Force, would work effectively and efficiently to identify culprits.

She advised non-Ghanaian traders to, as a matter of urgency, make the necessary arrangements to comply with the relevant provisions in the Act

Ms Tetteh said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had now been incorporated in the reconstituted Task Force to enable them adequately deal with the issue the foreign nationals.

She said the Task Force would be chaired by the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

Other institutions making up the Task force included Ghana Revenue Authority, Ghana Immigration Service, Ghana Police Service, GIPC, Social Security and National Insurance Trust and the Registrar General’s Department.

Until recent times, non-Ghanaians have operated in local markets in violation of the country’s laws.

Places they have been spotted operating include Circle-Tip-Toe lane, Odawna market area, Kantamanto, Makola, Tema Station, Abossey Okai Spare Parts markets, Accra Post Office, Zongo-Lane, Adabraka market and Malata.

Others include UTC Shoes market, Fishing Net market, Agbogboshie, Timber market, Tudu area, Achimota market, Nima, Odorkor and Mallam market, Kasoa and Weija market, New Town market, Kotobabi and Pig Farm area and Teshie.

Non-Ghanaian traders also operate  in Nungua, Labadi, Osu, Dome, Ashawo and Lapaz markets.

In the Ashanti Region, the illegal foreign traders are active in Obuasi Main Market , Suame, Adum, Kronom road, Asafo, Central, Ejura  markets.

In the Western Region, they ply their trade in  Takoradi Market Circle whiles in the Northern Region, they operate in the Tamale Central Market.

Source: GNA

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