Members of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) have taken the decision to close their shops until Monday, October 24, as a form of protest against the escalating cost of doing business in recent times. Their primary grievances revolve around the continuous devaluation of the Ghanaian Cedi on the foreign exchange market and the persistently high inflation rate, which have significantly eroded their capital and worsened their overall situation.
By shutting down their businesses, GUTA intends to exert pressure on the government, urging them to promptly address the concerns raised by the traders. Despite pleas from the Council of State members on Tuesday, October 18, requesting GUTA to reconsider their decision, the association remains steadfast in their resolve to temporarily close their shops.
GUTA firmly rejects the plea made by the Council of State to reopen their businesses. In a media interview following the meeting with Council of State members, Dr. Joseph Obeng, the President of GUTA, expressed that the purpose of their action is to compel the government to take immediate measures to alleviate their plight. Dr. Obeng emphasized the urgency of the situation, stating that the challenges they face have reached a critical point.
The association has called upon the government to investigate the factors contributing to the excessive demand for foreign exchange, while also reviewing investment laws to encourage foreign investors to engage in productive sectors of the economy, thereby preserving foreign exchange. Dr. Obeng further suggested that the government should explore the adoption of alternative currencies, such as the Chinese Yuan, to alleviate the pressure on the US Dollar.
Additionally, GUTA is demanding the swift implementation of a comprehensive plan aimed at eradicating all illegal foreigners operating within the retail trade sector.
In summary, GUTA members have decided to close their shops temporarily as a means of drawing attention to the economic challenges they face. By doing so, they hope to impress upon the government the pressing need to address their concerns promptly.