Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, Ghana's Trade Minister
By: Fred Yaw Sarpong- Daily Express
The Minister for Trade and Industry, Dr. Ekwow Spio-Gabrah has lament that the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) has failed to produce single evidence on foreigners who have been accused of engaging in petty trading activities illegally in the country.
“We have told GUTA to bring evidence that shows these particular foreigners are engaging in petty trading illegally, so that we can use that evidence and prosecute them. But the association has not been able to do that,” Dr. Spio-Garbrah noted.
Some Shops in Accra Central Market
According to the Minister, without this evidence from GUTA they cannot just go and arrest and prosecute any trader. Dr. Spio-Garbrah said this at a media workshop for financial journalists in Accra. The workshop was organized by the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) and aimed at equipping the media on the coverage of development of the private sector in Ghana.
“We are not saying there are no foreigners engaging in illegal trading in the country. There have been several allegations about them. But we cannot identify them unless the GUTA members show us those foreigners who are trading illegal,” he stated.
The Minister who was the guest speaker was optimistic that the government and for that matter his ministry are ready to do anything to support Ghanaian traders.
However, the President of the association, Mr. George Ofori in an interview told the Daily Express that “we are tired of them asking us to bring evidence. Can’t we see them all over the regional and district capitals in the country? Are they invisible?” he asked.
Mr. George Ofori, GUTA's President
Mr. Ofori said this people have taken over every sector of Ghana’s economy. “Apart from the trading sector look at what is going on in the mining sector. They are destroying our forest, water bodies and among others. Do we need evidence to show about these illegal activities?”
He accused the Ghana Investment Promotion Center (GIPC), Ministry of Trade and Industry and some members of the Task Force, for being in-bed with these foreign traders who are trading illegally. “These institutions are just frustrating us,” he alleged.
He disclosed that the Executives of GUTA have call the members of the GUTA who are part of the Task Force to brief them what is going on, as far as the Task Force activities are concerned. The emergency meeting expected to come on today Tuesday July 28, 2015. “This meeting will inform us what we should do next,” he noted.