The largest traders’ organization in the country, Traders Advocacy Group Ghana (TAGG) has made a thorough assessment of government’s performance within the last four years on trading issues and disclosed that trading has been excellent.
TAGG which has a database of over thousands of traders across the sixteen (16) Regions of Ghana, when assessing the impact of the current administration led by His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, it became obvious that “trading has been excellent” considering the numerous policy interventions rolled out during the tenure of the current administration within their four-year term.
Addressing a Press Conference in Accra, the General Secretary of TAGG, Nana Poku indicated that the government had appointed capable hands and gallant personalities such as Mr. Emmanuel Kofi Nti former Commissioner General of Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Mr. Isaac Crentsil former Commissioner (GRA-Customs Division), Mr. Kwasi Asante Gyimah former commissioner of the Domestic Tax Revenue Division (DTRD) unfortunately deceased, and to the current administration Mr. Amisshadai Owusu-Amoah, AG. Commissioner – General of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Ms. Julia Essiam AG. Commissioner – Support Service Division (SSD), Col Kwadwo Damoah (Rtd) AG. Commissioner – Customs Division and Mr. Edward Gyambrah, Officer-in-Charge, Domestic Tax Revenue Division (DTRD) to oversee trading issues which led to the implementation of excellent policies that insured to the benefit of the trading public.
He averred that through the ingenuity of these personalities, some key policy interventions were implemented through the Ministry of Finance.
“We are all aware of Tax incentives that were given to dealers in spare parts, frozen import, rice imports and among others, several imported items were taken out of the Bench Mark Values, there are other interventions such as 50% slash of all import duties received till today. This is unprecedented in our history,” he noted.
Nana Poku also indicated that the slash on importation of vehicles by 30% till today, and traders now experiencing a paperless and single window clearing system, which were all introduced in order to ease pressure on trading in the country cannot be overestimated.
These interventions he said, “by all standards some difficulties were ensued during its implementation but with proper structures, the current administration was able to implement it to help boost trading in the country.”
He also made reference to the several interventions for secondhand shoes and clothing and among others, which had its duties slashed considerably.
According to him, the current government through Ghana Standard Authority (GSA) under the profound leadership of the Chief Executive Officer Professor Alex Doodo was able to implement conformity standards across board to help improve trading activities at various port of entry in Ghana as well as new intervention policy directives from FDA.
On his part, Chairman of TAGG, Kwadwo Amoateng mentioned that although the COVID-19 situation has affected the country and trading activities in general, the President Nana Akufo-Addo and his government took swift responses to traders and small-scale enterprises in the country by directing Mrs. Kosi Yankey, the Chief Executive Officer of the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) to see to the disbursement of the Six Hundred Million Ghana Cedis (600.000.000) relief intervention which was made available to be given to all traders and small scale enterprises, with a one-year moratorium, payable at a rate of Three (3%) within two (2) years.
“This is also unprecedented. This has never happened before in our history. We have all experienced ‘Dumsor’ which collapsed businesses and trade yet no single intervention was made to cushion these businesses to recover from the loses they have incurred during the ‘Dumsor’ period. Now in COVID, this government has supported traders to that effect,” he said.
“We acknowledge the fact that, not all traders have benefited from this package or relief, but we want to assure all beneficiaries that the current administration is doing all it can through (NBSSI) to reach out to all who applied. With this regard, we call on all traders to exercise patience and wait for their packages which H.E. the President Nana Akuffo Addo has reiterated to make sure every trader receives this stimulus package and even more should he win the upcoming elections,” he assured.
He however said, TAGG as a body cannot tell its members to vote for a particular party or the other, but can urge members thus traders, to consider a decision vote on December 7 for a party that has the interest of traders at heart.
“Traders Advocacy Group Ghana (TAGG) will not impose on its members and traders as to which party to vote for, but rather urge all members and traders to consider a decision vote for any party that has traders at heart,” he said.
TAGG, he noted, appreciates all public and civil servants who were put in-charge to implement the laudable policies initiated by the current government to make trading friendly in the country.
On the coming elections, TAGG also urged all traders and its members to be law abiding citizens and to follow all the set COVID-19 protocols by authorities and cast their votes devoid of violence.
It also extended condolences to the family of late former president, H.E. Jerry John Rawlings and wish all traders and members of TAGG a Merry Christmas and a fruitful COVID-19 free New Year.