TAGG TO MEDIA FOR
THE CAUSE OF PRICE INCREASES ON COMMODITIES IN GHANA AND THE CURRENT PLIGHT OF THE GHANAIAN TRADER.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the press,
Our attention has been drawn to the fact that prices on the market are soaring in the various markets nationwide. Instead of reverting to the economic indications that are making trade transactions difficult in the country, policy makers are rather shifting blame either on traders or importers for the price hikes.
Traders Advocacy Group Ghana (TAGG) would want to emphasize to traders and the general public that, policy makers are not doing enough to put the rightful policies in place to encourage trade facilitation in the country, in the wake of Covid -19. For example, traders find it very difficult to travel around various countries to import their goods into Ghana. Even when you send money for goods the anxiety of receiving sub-standard goods is high and, in most cases, sub-standard goods are received.
Again, foreigners have now taken over the import business pushing out the indigenous business men and women who hitherto had monopoly on the market.
Ghana as a country, as we are all aware is not self-sufficient when it comes to commodity market. Importation however; is inevitable as most commodities are not manufactured in Ghana. As a result, close to sixty percent (60%) of household commodities needed for day-to-day living is imported into the country to augment the effort of Ghanaian industries.
With the points enumerated above, it is however inevitable that there wouldn’t be issues with our import and trading sector.
Traders Advocacy Group Ghana (TAGG) would have expected that policy makers such as the Ministry of Trade and all other agencies especially Ghana Shipper’s Authority (GSA) would have conducted an all-inclusive stakeholders’ engagement to sample views from trade organizations instead of being selective as to who participates or not. Such antics does not augur well for trade promotion in the country.
As we speak, government is rather putting itself in good shape to tax more from traders and importers. Currently, shipping companies and vessels are not sending containers to China resulting in an upsurge of freight charges when shipping a container from Asia to Ghana.
Government on the other hand as well as revenue collection agencies such as Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) are going overboard to surcharge the imports that are coming into the country with atrocious and ridiculous increment.
In recent times, if an importer is to ship a container of about 40ft high cue from China to Ghana, the freight charges start from $12,000 up to $20,000 U.S dollars. In view of these development, GRA customs division does their calculations per the freight charges before they arrive at the actual duty to be paid by the importer.
Unfortunately, (GRA) instead of evaluating the situation offshore to ascertain its impact, they have rather come out with a pre-determined rate ranging from $3,000 for 20 feet container $5,000 for 40 feet container and $8,000 for refrigerated container respectively and see no reason to empathize with traders and importers. Rather, the technocrats within the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) have seen an opportunity to cash in with these increases.
Per the information gathered, the government of Ghana is putting together committees to investigate the rationale behind price hikes in commodities such as building materials etc. We beg to differ, was the government expecting FATHER CHRISTMAS PRICES? Are they expecting traders to pay more on imports in huge sums of monies and at the end of the day sell for less and lose their capital (Big NO)?
For years now successive governments have come and gone. Our story has been the same and there has been no remedy for traders and importers all over country. Traders for years have been pleading anytime there are increments on tariffs from the governments’ part. But we will not plead this time around. If this current government increases import tariffs, we will also tell our traders and members across all the sixteen (16) regions to do same. Prices will continue to soar as long as government keeps increasing tariffs around imports.
It is rather disheartening that a government that once listened to the voices of the traders, No Longer Does. We are calling for a change in the trading community.
The speaker of parliament
We reject under no setting terms with the speaker of parliament of Ghana his call to the (GIPC ACT 865) that seeks to protect the Ghanaian trader to be soften in order to allow the indigenes of Nigeria to take over petty trading in that employs thousands and thousands of Ghanaians in Ghana. These are the questions we want to ask.
- Is the speaker of Ghana’s parliament patriotic enough and also have a Ghanaian trader at heart?
- Why only Nigeria is he calling to be exempted from the GIPC ACT 865?
- Why the loud silent when the borders of Nigeria were closed to the West Africa Neighbors, where was this speaker of parliament?
PRESIDENT OF (TAGG)
GENERAL SECRETARY (TAGG)
NB: kindly log on to www.tradersadvocacygroup.org