Nigerian traders in Ashanti Region’s capital, Kumasi, have urged the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) to encourage its members to take their business seriously like they (Nigerians) do and stop threatening to take the law into their own hands.
This comes on the back of threats by GUTA to stop the payment and filling of tax returns by end of October this year if foreign nationals are not barred from doing retail business in the country.
“They shouldn’t underestimate us, we mean what we say so if policy makers are listening, there is a serious thing looming and if they have ears they should sit up now. Traders will not pay taxes if foreigners continue their unlawful trading activities in our various markets which the laws of the land prohibit,” General Secretary for the Union in the Greater Accra Region, Samuel Poku, said at a press conference.
Reacting to this development, Mr Victor Anene, a local chairman of Nigerian traders in the Ashanti Region told Accra-based Radio XYZ that some of them [Nigerians] are registered businessmen who pay taxes, Internal Revenue Service, and also pay non Ghanaian ID card which is almost $120 every year.
According to him, they are members of ECOWAS and when doing business in Ghana, also employ not less than 10 Ghanaian workers as stated by the constitution.
He suggested that, instead of GUTA complaining, they should rather take their business as serious like they (Nigerians) do.
“They should take their business [serious] like the way we take our business. They go to Lagos and we go to Lagos, they go to Dubai and we go to Dubai, and they go to China and we go to China. All these goods we are selling, it’s the same place they went and bought it, so let them do their homework well the way we are doing our homework,” he stated.
He continued: “I don’t know why they [GUTA] always want to take the law into their hands which is not supposed to be so. If a Nigerian is having 2000 shops in Ghana, they employ not less than 5000 people so they create jobs. Some GUTA members you’ll see that their shop is only for them and their wives. But you just enter any Nigerian man’s shop you will see not less than three or four people working for them. If they are having up to three or four branches you will not see less than 20 people working for them and they are paying them. I don’t know why any government that comes, GUTA will come out and say Nigerians are doing this, Nigerians are doing that, I don’t understand. I don’t know why GUTA will threaten and say what they will do and the government will not tell them anything …”