Chaos ensued in Koforidua, Eastern Regional Capital on Monday, November 20, 2023, as clashes erupted between members of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) and foreign retailers, predominantly Nigerians.
The incident occurred as GUTA intensified its mission to close down shops and businesses operated by foreigners engaged in retail activities.
Mobile phone accessories and bags were seized on the streets, triggering heated confrontations and physical altercations.
In a surprising turn of events, dozens of Nigerians mobilized and stormed the New Juaben South Municipal Assembly, where GUTA members had converged for debriefing after their operations.
The Nigerians, demanding the release of their seized items and justice for what they deemed as the mistreatment of their compatriots, created a tense atmosphere at the assembly.
It took the intervention of Michael Okyere Baafi, Member of Parliament for New Juaben South who is also Deputy Minister for Trades and Industry, to restore order and calm tempers.
GUTA’s stance is rooted in concerns over competition and the potential impact of foreign retailers on the local market.
Samuel Victor Aikens, Eastern Regional Vice Chairman of GUTA, emphasized the association’s commitment to enforcing the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) Law, which prohibits foreigners from engaging in retail trade.
“Every country has its laws and regulations. GIPC ACT 865 forbids foreigners from entering into retail trade so that is why we are stopping them from operating in retail. We are asking them not to retail. They can bring the goods, gand ive ithemto Ghanaians to sell ithemat retail price. So that is why we are trying to prevent them from doing retail. We are not stopping. There are foreigners retailing rice, oil,and motors we are going to stop them,” stated Samuel Aikens.
However, not all Ghanaians support GUTA’s actions. Some bystanders argue that the Nigerians have brought competitive pricing to the mobile phone business, preventing cheating on the part of Ghanaian dealers.
Hon. Okyere Baafi, MP for New Juaben South, emphasized the importance of respecting domestic laws despite regional and continental efforts to promote free trade. He highlighted that the GIPC Act does not permit foreign nationals to engage in retail, and the Ministry supports the closure of foreign retail shops but advocates for a peaceful approach.
“Because of what we call ECOWAS UTLS, citizens of countries in the ECOWAS region can enter every market to do business which isduty-freee, quota fre ,however you have to get documents to prove that you can do legitimate busines .So if you don’t have those documents to prove then you will not be allowed to do business and exactly what is happening.”
This incident comes two weeks after the Eastern Regional branch of GUTA closed down 38 shops of foreigners engaged in retail businesses. The association has vowed to continue its efforts throughout theYuletidee season and beyond.
The clash between GUTA and foreign retailers adds diplomatic frictions between Ghana and Nigeria, whose citizens have flooded the local market engaging in retail business.
As a result, a 2021 joint communique signed between Ghana and Nigeria during the Extraordinary ECOWAS Summit attempted to address this problem.
The agreement highlighted a reconsideration of the 1-million-dollar minimum requirement from foreigners for trading enterprises under section 28(2) of the Act.
The move was aimed at resolving a 25-year retail dispute between Ghana and Nigeria, and it was officially presented by Ghana’s Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, to Nigeria’s House of Representatives following the summit.
Speaker Alban Bagbin expressed that this intervention marked the conclusion of the retail impasse between the two nations.
The adjustment was intended to facilitate the regularization of the businesses run by affected Nigerian retail traders who had been previously excluded from the market. Furthermore, a special concession was introduced, reducing the stamp duty requirement to 0.5, with the promise that it would not apply to Nigerian traders.
MTN Ghana Introduces New Tariffs Effective November 28, 2023
On November 28, 2023, MTN Ghana implemented new tariffs, marking a significant change in the cost structure for their services. This move has captured the attention of consumers, prompting them to evaluate how these adjustments will impact their communication expenses.
The telecommunications industry is dynamic, with companies frequently reassessing their pricing strategies to align with market demands, technological advancements, and regulatory changes. MTN Ghana, as a major player in this sector, regularly updates its tariffs to maintain competitiveness and provide sustainable services.
One of the notable changes in the new tariffs is the adjustments to call rates. Customers can anticipate shifts in the cost per minute for both on-net and off-net calls. This modification is likely to impact the communication habits of subscribers, influencing the choice between making calls within the MTN network or to other networks.
Additionally, data tariffs have seen revisions, reflecting the growing importance of mobile data in our digital age. As individuals increasingly rely on smartphones for various activities, including work, entertainment, and social interactions, understanding the adjustments to data tariffs is crucial. MTN Ghana aims to strike a balance between affordability and quality service, ensuring that users can access the internet without compromising on speed and reliability.
Moreover, the new tariffs might include changes to SMS charges. With the prevalence of instant messaging apps, traditional SMS usage has declined. However, for certain services and communication scenarios, text messages remain relevant. Subscribers should be aware of any modifications in SMS rates to manage their messaging expenses effectively.
It’s essential for MTN Ghana customers to stay informed about these tariff adjustments to make informed decisions based on their communication needs and budget. The company typically communicates such changes through various channels, including SMS notifications, social media updates, and announcements on their official website.
This tariff adjustment by MTN Ghana may be a response to various factors, such as inflation, infrastructure investments, or changes in regulatory requirements. Understanding the reasons behind these adjustments can provide customers with a broader perspective on the evolving telecommunications landscape.
The new tariffs implemented by MTN Ghana on November 28, 2023, underscore the dynamic nature of the telecommunications industry. Customers are encouraged to review the changes, assess their communication patterns, and make informed choices to ensure their mobile usage remains both convenient and cost-effective in this ever-evolving digital age.
The changes in MTN Ghana’s tariffs are expected to influence consumer behavior in several ways. With adjustments to call rates, subscribers may reconsider their communication preferences, opting for on-net calls to leverage more cost-effective options. This shift could potentially strengthen MTN’s network usage as customers seek ways to optimize their spending. Similarly, alterations in data tariffs may prompt users to reevaluate their data consumption habits, potentially leading to increased reliance on Wi-Fi networks or more judicious use of mobile data. Understanding these shifts in consumer behavior is crucial for both MTN Ghana and its subscribers, as it enables the company to tailor its services to meet evolving needs.
The telecommunications industry is highly competitive, with various providers vying for market share. MTN Ghana’s tariff adjustments are likely influenced by the need to remain competitive in this dynamic environment. Analyzing how these changes position MTN in comparison to other players in the market provides valuable insights into the company’s strategic approach. Additionally, consumers may compare the new tariffs with those of competitors, exploring potential benefits or drawbacks that could influence their decision to stay with MTN or consider alternative service providers.
Effective communication and transparency play a pivotal role in managing customer expectations during tariff adjustments. MTN Ghana must ensure that its subscribers are well-informed about the changes, providing clear explanations for the reasons behind the adjustments. Transparent communication fosters trust and helps mitigate any potential backlash from customers who may be resistant to changes in pricing. Additionally, proactive communication can guide users on how to navigate the new tariff structure, empowering them to make informed choices that align with their communication needs and budget constraints.
Telecommunications companies operate within a regulatory framework that can impact their pricing strategies. Changes in tariffs may be influenced by regulatory requirements, and understanding this aspect is essential for both the company and its users. MTN Ghana’s compliance with regulations ensures a stable and legal operating environment. Subscribers should be aware of any regulatory factors that contribute to these tariff adjustments, as this knowledge can provide context for the changes and help users appreciate the broader industry dynamics shaping their mobile communication experiences.
Let’s live harmoniously to safeguard Ghana’s peace – Peace Council on recent clashes
The National Peace Council (NPC) has called on Ghanaians to live harmoniously with each other to safeguard the country’s peace.
It has urged Ghanaians to protect “the peace and security of the country by creating and using avenues of tolerance, cooperation, and coexistence to sustain the country’s identity as an oasis of peace in Africa.”
This follows the unfortunate violent clashes in some parts of the country which have resulted in the deaths of some citizens.
Reports from Kintampo in the Bono East Region, Nkwanta in the Oti Region, and Wenchiki in the Northeast Region indicate that violence has led to the destruction of lives and property in these affected communities.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the NPC reminded Ghanaians “of paragraphs (c), (d) and (i) of
article 41 of the 1992 constitution of the Republic of Ghana which states thus: The exercise and enjoyment of rights and freedoms is inseparable from the performance of duties and obligations, and accordingly, it shall be the duty of every citizen.”
“To foster national unity and live in harmony with others; to respect the rights, freedoms and legitimate interests of others, and generally to refrain from doing acts detrimental to the welfare of other persons. To co-operate with lawful agencies in the maintenance of law and order.”
Read the full statement from the NPC here
Defence and National Security Ministers to appear before parliament today over Kintampo clash
The Ministers of Defence and National Security are expected to appear before the Defence and Interior Committee of Parliament on Thursday, November 23, to provide a briefing on actions being taken by the government to forestall a clash between the Mo and Wangara tribes in the Kintampo North municipality.
This comes on the back of a summons by the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin.
According to the Member of Parliament for the area, Joseph Kwame Kumah, tensions were high when the Mo tribe requested to perform rituals within the months of November and December, coinciding with the annual Klubi festival of the Wangara community.
In response to calls for a ceasefire by the MP, the Speaker directed that the government must take immediate steps to ensure peaceful coexistence.
“As the first authorities to come to this house to brief the committee on Defense and Interior, this is an urgent matter that should be handled with dispatch. I think Thursday should be okay for the two ministers and their commanders to appear before the committee early tomorrow morning by 9 am to brief the committee. It is an urgent matter.”
“The National Security Council through their regional office should immediately intervene because the chieftaincy institution is one of the cornerstones of the peace and security of our country, and we hold that institution dearly. We will do everything to prevent that institution from falling into disarray,” he stated.
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