Graphic Business News

GUTA asks govt to address challenges in the trade sector

By: Ama Amanwkah Baafi and Lucy Mensah
Mr Joseph Obeng (arrowed) , the newly elected president of  Ghana Union of Trader's Association, in a group photograph with some  of the new executives of the Association. Picture: ESTHER ADJEI
Mr Joseph Obeng (arrowed) , the newly elected president of Ghana Union of Trader's Association, in a group photograph with some of the new executives of the Association. Picture: ESTHER ADJEI

THE newly elected president of the Ghana Union of Trader’s Association (GUTA), Dr Joseph Obeng, has appealed to government to address pertinent issues affecting members of the association.

He cited the influx of foreigners in the retail sector, contrary to the law, and stated that protests from the citizens had yielded no results and traders always being perceived as devils of the state who do not want to pay legitimate taxes. 

“We can’t say we are hospitable and allow just anything to go on. We must not trade our economic development for friendliness,” he said.

“There is an invasion of the retail sector by foreign nationals in the full glare of the authorities; but there is a limit to which all these goodwill virtues can be overtaken by frustration and result in revolts if the necessary steps of action are not taken immediately to put things right,” Dr Obeng said at the national delegates congress of GUTA in Accra.

Mobility of capital

He alleged the country was losing hugely because of the mobility of capital with the connivance of some banks due to the absence of currency restrictions on the inflows and outflows of capital.

“The phenomenon of capital mobility has existed for far too long and it is enhanced by lack of strict adherence to the laws. Government must enforce the law to make sure that everybody, especially foreigners, will abide by it,” he said.

Dr Obeng stressed the need for the government to review or enact laws to create the necessary conditions to ensure transparency in financial intermediation and retention of capital in the country.

He said the association would engage government on how it could assist in promoting its initiatives such as the ‘one district, one factory’.

Election of new executives

Twenty-three executive members were elected by the 86 national delegates present at the congress in an election supervised by the electoral commission. 

Dr Obeng in his acceptance speech pledged to work in close collaboration with the team and other relevant stakeholders to help create an enabling environment for their trading activities to thrive.

The immediate past president of the association, Nana Barima Ofori Ameyaw, pledged his readiness to advise the association in any capacity when called upon.

“Working very hard together in unity will bring about success in the association,” he said. — GB