A former parliamentary aspirant for Obom-Domeabra constituency, Richard Nii Aryee has stated that the Minister for Trade and Industry, KT Hammond, must be sacked.
He said the MP for Adansi Asokwa is not fit to occupy the high office because he lacks the requisite modern knowledge of trade to man the ministry.
Speaking to King Nicholas on Battle Ground on Power FM, Nii Aryee said the drafting of the Import Restriction Bill 2023 shows that he is incompetent.
The L.I. (Import Restriction Bill 2023) which the Trade and Industry Minister, KT Hammond, wanted to lay in Parliament was to compel importers of at least 22 restricted items.
The products include poultry, rice, sugar, diapers, animal and vegetable oil, margarine and fruit juices.
The rest are; soft drink, mineral water, noodles and pasta, ceramic tiles, corrugated paper and paper board, mosquito coil and insecticides, soaps and detergents, motor cars, iron and steel, cement, polymers (plastics and plastic products), fish, clothing and apparel, biscuits and canned tomatoes.
If one had to import any of the above products, the person would have seek licence from a committee to be set up by the Trade and Industry Minister.
But reacting to the development, Nii Aryee supported the position of the business Community that there has not been the necessary stakeholder consultation.
KT Hammond is a joker.. When he drafted the bill, he should have made sure the country has the capacity to meet the demand of these products in the country.
“If you can’t do that you dare not implement such a policy. They wanted to do that to take some people out of business and allow only NPP persons to make money through the policy,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Government of Ghana has suspended the laying of the controversial Legislative Instrument (LI).
Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah who announced the suspension of the bill explained that government’s decision would allow for further engagement with stakeholders and ensure everyone is on the same page.
He emphasized the importance of this engagement, highlighting the goal of boosting local production of these goods.
“There is the need to get everyone rallying around it because it will ensure that the local production of these items are boosted,” the Ofoase-Ayirebi MP said, adding, “The idea is to ensure that the outstanding stakeholders get an opportunity to have their views expressed and considered,” he noted.
There has been widespread criticism from the business community and the Minority caucus in Parliament.
The Minority in Parliament, on three occasions, blocked the laying of the L.I. citing violation of international trade practices. The caucus also argued that the policy could give too much powers to the minister, a situation which has the propensity to breed corruption.
Apart from that the Ghana Union of Traders Association (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) united under the Joint Business Consultative Forum submitted a petition to Parliament over the pending Bill.
In a petition dated November 26, the group said: “We vehemently oppose this LI and would appreciate its immediate rejection by Parliament to allow for proper consultations and dialogue to take place.”
“We strongly oppose this LI on the following grounds: The price of most products mentioned in the Ministry of Trade and Industry policy proposal will result in serious price hikes, as competition will be severely restricted,” the group noted.