The National Democratic Congress has reiterated its stances against the Import and Export Restrictions LI being introduced in Parliament by the Akufo Addo/Bawumia government.

Speaking at a press Conference in Accra on Wednesday, December 6, 2023, the Minority Leader in Parliament, Dr. Casiel Ato Forson stated that, Legislative Instrument (L.I) if passed in its current would have detrimental effects on Ghanaian businesses and importers.

He said, the L.I that sought to restrict importation is not only opaque, but can lend itself to arbitrariness and abuse as this he maintained would be an avenue for extortion and corruption if allowed to stand.

The Legislative Instrument thus, the Export and Import (Restrictions on Imposition of Selected Strategic Products) Regulations, 2023, seeks to give the Minister of Trade and Industry, the sole prerogative and unfettered power to grant licenses to any person desirous of importing into the country, some essential items numbering twenty-two.

This, the Party believed is counter-productive and must be treated with the scorn it deserves owing to it’s implications.

“Let me make it clear, that in principle, the NDC is not against any legal regime or policy that seeks to protect indigenous businesses by regulating imports. What we are vehemently against, is a law that confers unfettered discretionary power on a single individual, in this case a Minister of Trade, to issue import licenses and to restrict the quantity of certain imports into the country, without any checks and balances”, the Minority Leader clarified.

He explained further that such laws often breed corruption and cronyism, and can easily be abused to create a monopoly for some few individuals adding that “as it is often said, power corrupts, but absolute power corrupts absolutely”.

According to him the I’ll conceived regulations have since received repugnance from the business community hence the need for Akufo Addo/Bawumia’s government to abort that agenda.

“As expected, these ill-conceived regulations have faced stiff resistance from the NDC Minority in Parliament. Indeed, we have not been alone in this endeavour, as the business community and other well-meaning Ghanaians have joined us in opposing these restrictions which clearly do not bode well for our country”, he lamented.

The Minority Leader who is also MP for Ejumako Enyan Essiam, said the Joint Business Consultative Forum, comprising reputable associations such as the Ghana Union of Traders’ Associations (GUTA), Food and Beverages Association of Ghana (FABAG), Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana, Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders (GIFF), Chamber of Automobile Dealership Ghana (CADEG), and Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI) have argued that the LI if enacted, would have serious detrimental effects on their businesses.

Dr. Ato Forson said when the erstwhile NDC/Mahama government realized that the local poultry industry had capacity to meet about 20% of total domestic consumption, the government introduced the 40% rule in the year 2014, which required poultry importers to purchase at least, 40% of their total stock from local poultry farmers.

He added that this policy was implemented alongside the Ghana Broiler Project and the provision of incentives for local poultry farmers, aimed at enhancing the domestic production of poultry.

“ Another mechanism that can be used to regulate imports with the aim of protecting indigenous industries, is the imposition of tariff and non-tariff measures on certain products to encourage the patronage and consumption of locally-produced commodities”, he emphasized.


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