The President of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), Dr Joseph Obeng, has warned that it will not accept an amendment of the GIPC law by parliament.
According to him, the review is retrogressive and works contrary to the interest of Ghana’s trading community.
His comments follow the Speaker of Parliament announcement of Nigerian trader’s exemption from the $1million minimum capital under the GIPC Act.
Dr Obeng further explained that the Speaker of parliament does not have the right to intervene in such matters.
“We have created our markets, we stay in this market and we decide who to be with if the person is not qualified. It doesn’t lie under anybody’s purview to impose anybody on us in the market, especially when the person does not qualify. We shall also not allow any persons or institutions that may have a perceived agenda to abet the GIPC Act to please other countries to the disadvantage of the citizens of Ghana. What all Ghanaians need to know is that, this law has lived through successive parliament and has even been enhanced in 2013. It shows how very important it is.
The GUTA president further described the move by the Speaker as unfair to traders.
“I is important for us to let the whole world know that apart from Nigeria, no other ECOWAS member state, including Ghana, has prohibited any list of product under the ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Schemes (ETLS). So, we will not accept the use of the Nigerian prohibition list as a leverage to seek amendment of our sovereign law. It is totally unjust, unacceptable and simply bullish in every sense of the words”.
GIPC law for traders
Furthermore, Dr Obeng emphatically stated that Parliament does not represent itself, “it represents the people of Ghana”. As such, it is the resolve of GUTA to ensure that parliament recognizes their needs “and act accordingly”.
“It should not be said that the eight parliament of Ghana, under the headship of Rt Honourable Alban S.K Bagbin, represented themselves without any regard for the concerns of the citizen and imposed retrogressive amendment of the GIPC law to please other nations.
“Owing to this, we want the Ghanaian parliament to know that the GIPC law as it stands now has helped to pull the breaks on the massive infiltration by foreigners into the space reserved for us Ghanaians.
He further revealed that, the Speaker of Parliament made this law “in their time. As a result, it is an “indictment” on him to call traders “opportunists” when they refers to laws prepared by them.
“We deem it as an insult for us to be called opportunists… that because we are referring to laws that he has helped to make, we are opportunists. It is very unfortunate, we don’t deserve to be insulted. We don’t deserve to be despised by our own parliament.
“In view of all the aforementioned, we will not accept the use of Nigerian prohibiting list as a leverage to seek amendment of our sovereign law. We will prepare against any eventuality if we are left with no option than to take our destiny into our own hands and protect what is legitimately ours”.