Today, Tuesday the 5th of November 2019, Ghanaian traders at Opera Square in Accra locked up shops belonging to foreign nationals involved in retail business. Most of the shops were believed to belong to Nigerians.
This is the third time since the lockdown of the border such an incident is happening at the same venue. The most recent was in July this year. However, the number of shops that were closed today is yet to be known.
“According to what I heard, over 50 shops were locked or maybe less. We can’t really say for sure,” said Chukuemeka Nnaji, President of the Nigerian Union of Traders Association of Ghana.
It was however reported from a verified source that over 50 shops had been locked up by midday. The Ghanaian traders said that the activities of the foreign nationals contravene Section 27 of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) Act 865. The law bars foreign nationals from:
- Sale of provision of goods and services in a market, trading or hawking or selling of goods in a stall at any place
- operation of taxi or any car hire services in a company that has a fleet of less than twenty-five vehicles
- the operation of a beauty salon or a barbershop;
- printing of scratch and recharge cards for the use of mobile subscribers of telecommunication services; e.g the production of exercise books and other basic stationery;
- the retail of finished pharmaceutical products;
- Every other aspect of pool betting business and lotteries, except in the case of football pool.
The Ghanaian traders said that they were forced to carry out the operations following the government’s failure to enforce the GIPC laws. Since the police decided they wouldn’t do anything about it, they decided to take laws into their hands.