Business

Nigerian traders close Suame shops as locals resurrect retail feud

Nigerian traders at Suame in the Ashanti region have begun packing out of their shops, following what they say are attacks on them by the Suame Spare Parts Dealers Association.

Shops belonging to Nigerian traders were shut down by Ghanaians, who vowed to evict foreigners from the market.

The Suame traders said their call is not to intimidate foreigners trading in the country but rather to encourage authorities to implement the statutory laws in the sector without fear or favour.

According to them, most foreigners in the retail business are only selling evade taxes as well as sell substandard products, which they say is a threat to consumers.

“Because of the Nigerians traders, most of the customers do not patronise the products of the Ghanaians as they are deemed as expensive. They have destroyed Kumasi with their new substandard spare parts.

“Because of the new substandard and fake parts, they sell no one wants to buy the spare parts. Our leaders are not helping us also, they will sell to us at ¢2000 and to retailers at ¢1500, making it expensive,” one of them told Joy News’ Kwesi Debrah.

Stoking a never-ending feud, The aggrieved trader said such behaviour is not needed as they cannot go to the Nigerian market and do same without being driven out.

The Suame Magazine, located in Kumasi is recognised as the largest industrialised area with many workshops for metal engineering and vehicle repairs in Ghana, employing about 200,000 workers.

It is also recognised as the largest artisan engineering centre in Sub-Saharan Africa.

By law, the sale of goods and provision of services in the market, petty trading, hawking, taxi services, operation of beauty salons and barbering shops are the sole preserve of Ghanaians therefore, non-Ghanaians or non-citizens cannot operate in that market.

Responding to the development, president of the Nigerian Retailers Association, Ikechukwu Obiara told Joy News their stores has been locked since last Thursday.

“On Friday when we came back to open our shops, they continued the same thing and the police intervened. We got to sell a little and within hours they were back at it again ordering us to close our shop.

“Until today, they are still preventing us to sell so we decided to report the issue to the Suame Police Station to officially lodge a complaint,” he said.

Police are said to be meeting the leadership of the Nigerian traders.

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