Majority leader Osei Kyei-Mensah has asked Ghanaian traders to partly blame themselves for the existence of foreigners in Ghanaian markets.
Speaking in an interview with Rainbow Radio’s Afia Kwarteng, he said some Ghanaians front for foreigners to register their businesses and when they start taking over petty trading and retail business, we complain.
The legislator who is also the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs said, sawmill business, which is meant for locals, has been taken over by Lebanese and other nationals
He said, we are witnessing these challenges because these foreigners registered their businesses with Ghanaians fronting for them.
He said fronting for foreign companies had become “so common that the fuel stations and other facilities we have in the country are being owned by these foreigners at the detriment of Ghanaians.
The Petroleum Regulations 2013 (LI 2204) gave first preference to indigenous Ghanaian companies in petroleum activities.
Regulation 4 (1) states that an indigenous Ghanaian company shall be given preference in the grant of a petroleum agreement or license with respect to petroleum activities subject to the fulfilment of the conditions in the Regulations.
Additionally, Regulation 4 (2) states that; “there shall be at least five per cent equity participation of an indigenous Ghanaian company other than the Corporation to be qualified to enter into a petroleum agreement or petroleum license”.
But we have foreigners taking over these opportunities because Ghanaians are fronting for them, he noted.
Commenting on the ECOWAS trade agreement he said, it encourages the free movement of goods and services but it does not allow people to engage in petty trading and retail business.
‘’The law does not allow for retailing. It says we should encourage free movement of goods and services but retailing of the goods and services should be in the hands of the indigenous people,’’ he stressed.
He admonished Ghanaians to desist from fronting for foreigners in order to prevent them from taking over our petty and retail business.
Meanwhile, he has asked traders in Kumasi to refrain from attacking and ransacking the shops of the Nigerians.
That he said amounts to illegality and should be entertained.
He asked ECOWAS to meet over these challenges and find lasting solutions to them.
To him, these recent cases of kidnapping, cyber crime and other criminal activities involving other nationals aside Ghanaians, are contributing factors.