We won’t accept any increase in port charges – GUTA


Members of the Ghana Union of Traders’ Association (GUTA) have vowed to kick against any tariff increases by the government as Finance Minister prepares to present mid-year budget review to Parliament on Monday.

According to GUTA, they will not sit unconcerned for the Akufo-Addo-led government to kill their businesses.

“Enough is enough! The 16% they are already taking from us is enough,” Deputy Secretary of the Union, Nana Opoku Acheampong declared in an interview with Ghanacrusader.com’s Vivian Arthur.

He noted that somebody would have to tell the government what is happening in the country is going to eventually kill all businesses.

He indicated that many companies are relocating to Cote d’Ivoire and Togo because of the complexity of clearing goods at Ghana’s ports.

Nana Opoku Acheampong who was expressing GUTA’s expectations of the Mid-year Budget Review and Supplementary Budget to be presented to Parliament on Monday 29th July, 2019, took a swipe at President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo.

He said, “We thought we have a President who understands simple law and without law this country cannot develop.”

“Without proper laws and regulations we cannot progress and we keep saying brothers and sisters just to regulate ourselves. It will never auger will for anything.”

He stated that they have picked hints of collusion between the Ghana Ports and Habours Authority (GPHA) and the Finance Ministry to adjust rates at the ports upwards.

He lamented that since the assumption of power of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government led by Akufo-Addo and Bawumia, the administration has done more harm to local businesses by impeding the established ways of conducting trade.

“Look at the numbers! Trade is actually going down each and every day, which is very bad.”

“Our advocacy to ensure trade is at its peak in the country has all fallen on deaf ears. Look at Tema Habour. Containers coming into the country keep dropping and yet nothing is being done about it.”

Nana Acheampong noted that GUTA is not ready to accept any additives in terms of increments at the Tema Port in the Supplementary Budget.

Government, he said, should also make sure the purported benchmark value works because the purported 50% slash is not working for traders.

Proper administrative measures, he said, are needed to make sure the country is actually developing and not retrogressing stressing, “We could really see that things are retrogressing.”

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