The National Chairman of the Council of Indigenous Business Associations (CIBA), Shallovern Srodah has lamented that despite the passage of the new Ghana Investment Promotion Centre Act 2013, very little transformation had been seen in the retail sector with respect to the operations of foreigners.

Mr. Srodah said foreigners continue to illegally engage in the retail sector of the Ghanaian economy, an area exclusively reserved for Ghanaians, right under the watch of the authorities mandated to halt the practice.

Speaking on the sidelines of a stakeholders’ workshop under the auspices of the BUSAC Fund Phase III in Accra last Thursday, Shallovern Srodah said CIBA and the Ghana Union Traders Associations are not against foreign participation in Ghanaian business but was against the blatant flouting of laws governing the retail sector.

“Today, it is commonplace to see foreigners hawking at our market places and from house-to-house selling mobile phones, electronic appliances, socks, handkerchiefs, garments, cosmetics, operating ‘chop bars’ within our communities, operating commercial transport services, hair dressing saloons, and even illegal artisanal mining,” he said.

The National Secretary of CIBA, Mr. John Nimo said the inaction of stakeholders and duty bearers to develop a comprehensive inter-ministerial and multi-facetted approach to enforcing the provisions of the new GIPC Law, 2013 Act (865) has rendered the law ineffective.

“The lack of a strict enforcement strategy backed by compliance monitoring mechanisms in our market places has ensured that the problem that CIBA set out to solve by demanding for the review of then GIPC Law of 1994 (Act 478) which was replaced with the New GIPC Law 2013 (Act 865), still persists to the disadvantage of Ghanaians. These foreigners are using their massive financial muscles to push Ghanaian retailers from the market places against the provisions of the new GIPC law (Act 865),” he added.

“If urgent action is not taken to resolve this problem within the law, then the future ramifications may extend beyond just mere trade feud into other forms of unrest that may give Ghana negative publicity within the community of civilized countries,” he said.

Mr. Nimo questioned the rationale behind the proposed review of the current GIPC law, adding that the process would only provide a convenient excuse for the non-enforcement of the existing law, thus, allowing the current illegalities in the retail sector to continue.

“We have been there before and nothing really changed apart from the text of the law. What really matters now is for government to work with all stakeholders in the retail industry in Ghana to ensure that the current provisions of the GIPC law are strictly enforced across the country.”

Source: Daily Heritage