President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has observed that the interest rates charged by the banks are too high for Ghanaian traders, adding that his administration is working hard to bring the rates down in order to assist the traders.
Addressing traders, market men and women at Kantamanto, Makola and Okaishie on day-two of his three-day tour of the Greater Accra, President Akufo-Addo stressed that he is very much aware of the difficulty traders go through in terms of interest rates on loans and promised to deal with it.
“The interest rates charged by banks, which certainly is not in the interest of traders in our country, is a very important issue to me. I have started talking with the Bank of Ghana and the bankers. I am hopeful that in no time, we will have some changes in that regard”, the President said.
Regarding the recent impasse between members of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) and some foreigners engaged in retail businesses in the country, Mr Akufo-Addo said GUTA cannot take the laws into their own hands.
“People cannot take the law into their own hands and enforce the law”, warning: “If we do that, Ghana will become chaotic”.
“We have to be careful about this phenomenon of taking the law into our own hands about situations that the government is yet to resolve”, the President told the members of GUTA in reference to the group’s closure of shops belonging to Nigerians.
The latest incident was on Monday when members of GUTA forcefully closed down between 60 and 100 retail shops belonging to Nigerians at Tip-Toe Lane at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle.
The police arrested about seven of them in the ensuing melee which saw some of the GUTA members pelt the police with stones and other crude weapons.
President Akufo-Addo urged the GUTA members to cooperate with the Ministry of Trade and the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) in resolving the matter with their Nigerian counterparts.
“Please, allow the work that the Trade Minister and the committee are doing with the immigration authorities to progress. I am confident that if we allow same to work, your issues with foreign participation in the retail business will soon be a thing of the past in line with the law”, the President said.
In his remarks, the President of GUTA, Dr Joseph Obeng, said the group was willing to let the law take its course.