President of the Chamber of Freight and Trade, Dennis Amfo-Sefah, has praised the performance of Trade Minister-designate, Alan John Kwadwo Kyeremanten, during his appearance before the Appointments Committee of Parliament.
In a statement released to the media, Mr. Amfo-Sefah who is popularly called Nana Boakye said the re-nominated Minister of Trade was especially brilliant in his responses on the question of ECOWAS nationals trading in Ghana in contravention of the Ghana Investment Promotion Center.
“It was very strategic that our incoming Minister of Trade stated a firm position on the law; I think it is something that we really need in this country. A Trade Minister who can put aside politic niceties and speak to the important issues of this country,” Nana Boakye said.
According to him, “Over the years, we have tiptoed around this problem but there comes a time in the life of every nation, when it must stop hiding and look at an issue in the face and resolve it. We cannot continue to have a situation where foreigners come and flout our local laws and we just pretend nothing is happening simply because we want to look good to the outside world.”
Even so, Nana Boakye also applauded, “the fine diplomatic language that graced the confrontation of the problem by the Trade Minister-designate. Yes we must protect our own but we must not do so at the detriment of our fraternal relations with the outside world.”
Section 27 (1) of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) Act, 2013 (Act 865) prohibits foreigners from engaging in retail trade. In spite of this, some foreign nationals continue to engage in such activities in breach of the act.
And the situation has been very delicate for Ghana because the country has ratified the ECWOAS free movement agreement which enjoins it to accommodate nationals from other West African countries. This has become a loophole that some foreigners are taking advantage of.
Speaking to these issues before the Appointments Committee, the Minister-designate for Trade and Industry blamed the development on the lack of enforcement of the GIPC laws by the agencies mandated to do so, resulting in the tension between Ghanaians and some foreign traders.
To avoid future disturbances and further breaches of the GIPC act and other regulations, Alan Kyeremanten revealed that several consultations have been done between countries at the level of ECOWAS for foreign nationals to respect the country’s laws on retail trading.
Mr Kyeremanten added that to maintain the long-standing friendship and economic engagements among ECOWAS countries, they have agreed to consult and engage each other when such laws are flouted by foreign nationals rather than taking punitive actions against such nationals.
Addressing these revelations, Mr. Amfo-Sefah, alias Nana Boakye, welcomed the moves saying that it is something that will really help the relationship between Ghana and her cousin countries.
“We at the Chamber of Freight and Trade applaud our incoming Trade Minister’s expatiation on these issues. This is because we know how it feels to be a Ghanaian businessman.
“We look forward to seeing Hon. Alan Kwadwo Kyeremanten’s vision in action after he assumes office,” Mr. Amfo-Sefah wrote.