The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) has stated its side of the allegation levelled against them by the Nigeria Union Traders Association of Ghana concerning harassment and intimidation in the conduct of their business in Ghana.
In a letter addressed to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, GUTA denied all the accusations levelled against the Association by their Nigerian counterpart.
NUTA says GUTA has been harassing its members by closing their shops and making it difficult for them to earn a living to care for their families in Ghana.
NUTA, therefore, cried out to its government in Africa’s most populous country to intervene prompting a response from the Nigerian government to the Ghanaian government that Nigeria will not tolerate the harassment of its citizens living in Ghana.
Reacting to this, GUTA noted that all it is seeking is to call the attention of the Ghanaian government to its responsibility of enforcing Ghana’s laws on retail trade which is a preserve for Ghanaians, to bring peace, stability as well as security not only to Ghana but to the sub-regional bloc at that.
“GUTA has noticed with much concern the behaviour of a section of Nigerian traders in Ghana by the name NUTAG, who anytime the authorities in Ghana wants to enforce our sovereign laws, resort to weird allegations and other highly dubious tactics of disinformation. The attitude of these Nigerians, if not checked and handled well, will strain the already existing cordial relations between our two sister countries and adversely affect the integration of the sub-regional bloc. They need to be called to order,” GUTA noted in its letter.
Find the full letter below:
HIS EXCELLENCY PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI
FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA
ASO ROCK VILLA, ABUJA
GUTA STATES ITS CASE ON THE MISINFORMATION CARRIED OUT BY THE NIGERIAN UNION OF TRADERS ASSOCIATON GHANA (NUTAG) TO THEIR GOVERNMENT
The Ghana Union of Traders’ Associations (GUTA) has noticed with great concern about the numerous misinformation being carried out by the Nigerian Union of Traders’ Association in Ghana through press releases and petitions to their government and ECOWAS Commission about the retail trade law in Ghana and wish to respond appropriately, to clear the air of any misconception about Ghana.
GUTA trusts in the judgment of authorities and hereby outlined some pertinent issues for your urgent perusal.
They are as follows:
· That the free movement of people, goods and services are being strictly observed and respected in Ghana
· That the ECOWAS protocol does not permit dumping under any circumstance; like any other local or international treaty.
· That Nigeria short-listed over forty (40) products from entering her country in order to protect her local industries.
· That Nigeria again closed her borders citing the abuse of ECOWAS protocol on the rules of origin, which resulted in dumping and insecurity to her country and, of course, very justifiable.
· That Ghana’s retail market has always been open to all ECOWAS citizens
· That Ghana has never targeted any ECOWAS citizen who deals in goods and services produced in a member country.
· That no particular country is a target in the enforcement of the law. However, it should be noted that Nigerians form about eighty percent (80%) of those who engage in the illegal retail trade.
· That the Ghana investment law does not drive or encourage foreign investment into retail and petty trading. The law is mainly to discourage dumping of goods from countries outside the ECOWAS Community, so as to boost local production and better the lot for the local manufacturer, as well as grow and develop our local economy. Therefore, the one million dollar requirement and the employment of, at least, twenty skilled Ghanaians are not only deterrent to investment in retail trade but also to drive investment to a more formalized trading sector in the form of Supermarkets and Big Wholesales, to ensure employment creation, security and stability in our economy.
· That any ECOWAS citizen who may want to engage in the trading of goods other than those produced in their home countries is required to comply with the Ghana investment law, which is the sovereign law of Ghana.
· That all ECOWAS member states have been enforcing their immigration and investment laws. All member countries also arrest and repatriate citizens of member countries who may have infractions of their laws.
· That our immigration, investment and other laws as a community are not harmonized.
· That law of member states should be respected and strictly enforced to bring orderliness, peace and security to the nation and citizens alike.
· That treaties and protocols are signed primarily for the general wellbeing of the citizenry; and
· That Ghanaians should not be made to suffer under any treaty or protocol, especially when our sovereign laws do not contravene any treaty, in this case the ECOWAS protocol and this should apply to citizens of all member states.
It is important to state herein that, all that GUTA is seeking is to call the attention of our government to its responsibility of enforcing our laws, to bring peace, stability as well as security not only to Ghana but to the sub-regional bloc at that.
However, GUTA has noticed with much concern the behaviour of A SECTION OF NIGERIAN TRADERS IN GHANA by the name NUTAG, who anytime the authorities in Ghana want to enforce our sovereign laws, resort to weird allegations and other highly dubious tactics of disinformation. The attitude of these Nigerians, if not checked and handled well, will strain the already existing cordial relations between our two sister countries and adversely affect the integration of the sub-regional bloc. They need to be called to order.
Sir, have our highest regards.
Dr. Joseph Obeng
CC: THE HON. MINISTER
MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND REGIONAL INTEGRATION
AIRPORT CITY, ACCRA-GHANA