Abossey Okai spare parts dealers divided over Akufo-Addo visit

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There is division among spare parts dealers at Abossey Okai regarding President Nana Akufo-Addo’s visit to the area on Tuesday, October 27, 2020.

According to Mr. Sekyi Addo, who is the Public Relations Officer of the National Concerned Spare Parts Dealers Association, the President did not say anything to them, during his visit, about whether or not Parliament will do away with the now-suspended Customs Amendment Act, which, if implemented, will mean salvaged cars cannot be imported into Ghana.

“President Nana Akufo-Addo could not emphatically tell us that he is stopping the Customs Amendment Act, which when implemented, will cost 5.3 million jobs, from coming into effect”, Mr. Sekyi Addo told Kwabena Prah Jr on Accra FM’s morning show ‘Ghana Yensom’ on Wednesday, October 28, 2020.

“So”, he added, “we were pained that the President, having had the opportunity to tell us directly that the Act will be done away with completely or amended, failed to do so”.

“We thought the President didn’t come clear with us.

“He said nothing about the Act or its amendment or withdrawal.

“We had no opportunity to talk to the President or ask him questions.

“We would have loved to have asked him if he could scrap a law passed by parliament with mere talk”, Mr. Sekyi Addo said.

However, the Co-Chairman of the Abossey Okai Spare Parts Dealers Association, Mr. Ampadu Siaw, told Kwabena Prah Jr on the same show that “the government notified us of the President’s visit”.

“We spoke to the president in the caucus for about 30 to 45 minutes before his public interaction with people in the area.

“We put our concerns before him at that meeting as well as what spare parts dealers expect of him should he be retained in office; and commended him for his trade policies so far”, he said.

According to him, the PRO for the National Concerned Spare Parts Dealers was not part of that meeting nor did the association avail itself of it, thus, wondered why he spoke the way he did.

In mid-September this year, the government of Ghana suspended the enforcement of the ban on the importation of accident cars.

The decision was revealed by the Tema Regional Chairman of the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders (GIFF), Mr. Alex Asiamah.

He said the Customs Commander at the Tema Port made an announcement to that effect.

Mr. Asiamah said on Thursday, 17 September 2020 that: “Just this evening, I received information informing the general public, stakeholders, and the importing public that, Customs will continue to do their normal clearance of such vehicles.

“So, the importers can go on with their business of importing such cars.

“So, that’s the news at the moment.

“It is coming from the Ministry [of Finance], but through our sector commander, the Assistant Commander of Customs in Tema,” he told Accra-based Citi FM.

According to Mr. Asiamah, the ban sparked a lot of anger among importers.

“You could remember that when the news came, importers or dealers in those cars were not happy about it, and then it was even twisted in different directions to make it look like something odd,” he said.

“For us, as freight forwarders, we will continue to enjoy our business of providing such cars for our customers and when that one happens, it means we are going to continue to enjoy the service so it’s welcoming news”, Mr. Asiamah said.

Some months ago, the Coalition of Car and Spare Parts Dealers, Clearing Agents and Artisans in Tema, Spintex and Ashaiman in the Greater Accra Region, in conjunction with Vehicle and Asset Dealers Union of Ghana (VADUG), called off a demonstration scheduled for Thursday, August 27, 2020, over the ban on the importation of salvaged cars

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