The President of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), Dr Joseph Obeng, has called on members of the association to desist from partisan politics.
GUTA, according to him, was a purely private sector organisation committed to championing the interests of traders, irrespective of the government in power.
“We do not tolerate any acts of partisan politics. We collaborate with every government of the day in a fair and competitive manner towards nation building.
We shall continue to do so with mutual trust and respect as a private sector organisation,” he stated. Dr Obeng made the call at the inaugural ceremony of the Tenants of Makola Shopping Mall Association (TOMSMA) in Accra last Tuesday.
Call for peace
For peace to prevail to enable traders conduct their businesses successfully, Dr Obeng said there was the need for the Electoral Commission (EC) to be fair and resolute in the discharge of its duties as enshrined in the 1992 Constitution and ensure that the 2020 general election was conducted in a free, fair and transparent manner.
“We would like to advise that the independence of the Electoral Commission should be recognised by all Ghanaians.
They are mandated by the Constitution to manage and organise elections in the country as an independent body and we need to respect that and allow them to work without fear or favour,” he added.
Dr Obeng assured the traders that GUTA was working assiduously with the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI) to ensure that the challenges of the members of the association were addressed to bring relief to them.
The Secretary of TOMSMA, Mr Frederick Amonoo, lamented the cost of trading in the country which he described as “exorbitant and exploitative”.
According to him, high import duties, numerous taxes, high exchange and interest rates had hindered Ghanaian traders from becoming competitive in the West African sub region.
He, therefore, called on the MoTI to create a conducive environment for businesses to grow and develop in the country.
“We are determined to collaborate with GUTA to stop the various forms of exploitation of traders in the country,” he added.
Foreigners taking over trade activities
A technical advisor on domestic trade issues at MoTI, Mr Ntim Donkor, who represented the sector minister, Mr Alan Kyeremanten, said the issue of foreigners taking over trading activities reserved for Ghanaian traders was being addressed by the ministry as directed by the President.
“The government considers the development of the industrial sector as the panacea for growing the economy, creating employment and wealth as well as addressing the gap between the rich and the poor,” he added.
He also encouraged the traders to unite, mobilise resources and venture into the industrial sector.
‘We want to see you graduate into captains of industry.
Take advantage of government programmes such as industrial sub-contracting and partnership exchange that can help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to grow through outsourcing of non-core activities of large industries.” he stated.