Don’t take law into your hands – Akufo-Addo cautions retailers
President Nana Akufo-Addo has cautioned local retailers against using force to evict their foreign counterparts from their shops.
Addressing the traders on a tour of the Greater Accra Region, President Akufo-Addo said although the law is on the side of the local retailers, he cautioned that "people cannot take the law into their own hands and enforce the law."
“If we do it that way the country would not be a good place to live in, we have to remember that there are many Ghanaians outside the country especially in Nigeria, so I don’t want the government to rush in taking decisions that would also affect them negatively,” he said in Twi.He assured the traders’ a committee has been put in place to find a lasting solution to the age-old situation.
“Please give way for the Trades Minister, Alan Kyerematen and his committee to work. I believe if they are giving the chance to work well, all of Ghana Union of Traders Association’s (GUTA) problems would come to an end,” Akufo-Addo assured.
His comments come amid recent agitations from members of the GUTA.The traders have been demanding that government implements the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) Act which bars foreigners from the retail market.
Reluctance from successive governments to implement the law, has led to members of GUTA illegally locking shops of foreign traders.Some of the expatriates have also lamented physical attacks from Ghanaian traders.Speaking to Akufo-Addo Tuesday, President of GUTA, Joseph Obeng said without a favourable solution soon, his members would be out of control.
President of GUTA, Joseph Obeng
At Okaishie, President Akufo-Addo told the market women and traders that the matter of high interest rates is of grave concern to him, even thpugh interest rates have reduced considerably since his assumption of office in January 2017.
He told the traders that he has directed the Governor of the Bank pf Ghana to initiate discussions with the Banks on how to bring the rates down, and was hopeful that “very soon it will yield good results, and the rates will eventually come down.”
The President noted further that a significant allocation has been given to MASCLOC so as to ensure that traders can access small loans to enhance their business.
On the reforms undertaken in the banking sector, President Akufo-Addo explained that even though the steps taken “may have had a toll on you”, he indicated further that “the consequences would have been dire if we had not taken those bold decisions. I urge you to remain patient, as, very soon, you will feel the benefits of these reforms.”
“We have started paying contractors. Some of your husbands who are involved have been paid so if they have not made you aware, kindly tell them that I say they have been paid. They are aware. So, this Christmas promises to be great for you traders and for all of us,” he added.