The Ghana Union of Traders (GUTA) has descended on the country’s Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, for announcing that Nigerian traders would be exempted from the $1 million minimum capital requirement for retail trading under Ghana’s GIPC Act, Act 865.\
“We will resist any attempt to take away the only retail market the 1992 Constitution grants us. No attempts by the 8th Parliament through the Speaker, Alban Bagbin, to review or change the GIPC Act that ensures foreign retailers including Nigerians, pay a minimum capital of $1 million. We will never sit back and watch this happen. GUTA is prepared for a nationwide protest should this happen,” Dr. Joseph Obeng told the media.
A joint communique between Ghana and Nigeria after an Extraordinary ECOWAS Summit, has exempted Nigerians from the $1 million minimum capital requirement under the GIPC Act 2013, Act 865 which hitherto prevents them from trading in Ghana’s retail market.
This announcement was made by the Ghanaian Speaker to Nigeria’s House of Representatives last week, according to a Ghanaian outlet.
According to Mr. Bagbin, this intervention brings an end to the 25-year retail impasse between Ghana and Nigeria.
“…of particular mention is the reconsideration of the 1-million-dollar minimum requirement for trading enterprises under section 28(2) of the Act. This is to facilitate regularization of the businesses of affected Nigerian retail traders in the trade impasse. Equally commendable is the special concession to be applied to a requirement for a payment of 0.5 stamp duty. Our Parliament is working to make sure this does not apply to our brothers and sisters from Nigeria,” Speaker Alban Bagbin announced.
In the meantime, Nigerian retail shops in Ghana remain on lockdown.
Chief Nkem Tony Onyeagolu (former President for All Nigerians Community- Ashanti Region) has appealed to Ghana President Akufo-Addo to issue a directive for the re-opening of shops, lamenting hardship.
The shops were closed last year by Ghana’s Trade Ministry with support from GUTA.