SCORES of traders in Accra metropolis in the Greater Accra Region are crying of imminent collapse of their businesses, attributed the difficult situation to the depreciation in cedis, the rising cost of the clearing of goods at the ports and low patronge of their goods.
The traders have, therefore, called on government of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to work extra hard to stabilize the cedis against the dollar and also to reduce the current high cost of clearing goods at the ports and economic hardship of the people in the country.
Several of the traders who spoke in an interview with Weekend Today during the recent visit to some market centres in Accra metropolis stated that the levies and taxes imposed on their products sometimes exceed their capital and thus the major reason why imported goods are expensive at the various markets in the country.
The frastrated traders numbered cedi depreciation, bureaucracy, high interest rate, and delay in clearing goods and others as factors accounting to the expensive nature of products in the Ghanaian markets.
They lamented to Today that the situation of cedi depreciation against dollar, high cost of clearing goods at the ports and low patronge of their goods has impacted negatively on their sales and profit margins.
“We are sincerely pleading to the government of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to impress upon the Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta to include reduction of import duties in the mid-year budget review which is scheduled to take off on July 16 2019, the traders stressed.
They called pleaded with the Finance Ministry to stabilise the currency from further depreciation against the dollar, saying that the currency depreciation was adversely affecting their businesses.
At a Opera Square business centre in Accra, Mr Jeffrey Dadzie who sells electrical gadgets, fridges, fans, hair dresser products, and office seats and chairs complained bitterly that the patronage of his goods had relatively gone down for the past two years now, attributed the phenomenon to the complaints from the customers of the high prices of their products.
“In the couple of years now some sometimes when we came to the market and desplayed our products for sale, nobody would even come to buy even one item from our shops and stores and we have to close the our stores and shops and go home.
This is because our customers area complaining bitterly of the current economic hardship and also the increase in the prices of the goods compounded with the high cost of clearing goods at the ports due to the current depreciation of the cedi against dollar.
“Some of the customers would approach us to ask of the prices of the goods in our shops and will tell us that they are going to come back to buy the products and before you realised they would not come back again,” Mr Dadzie stated in the sad mood.
He bemoaned that the recent rise of the low patronge of their goods has made them found it extremely to pay for the rent of their shops and also pay their children school fees as well to feed their families.
Abdual-Karim another trader at Rawlings Park in Accra said though his prices of goods remained same throughout the previous months, customers were not buying them.
Madam Hanatu Seidu at Makola Number, who sells a second clothes said there had been no increase in patronage of her goods before and after the Easter festivities.
According to her, despite the slight price increases in some goods and products, others were having stable prices yet there had not been any increase in patronage.
The traders, therefore, called on duty-bearers and revenue collectors to explore innovative ways to help boost local markets before asking them to pay high cost taxes of doing business.
They further stressed the need of the government to take measures to fix the cedi’s fragility, saying that the high cost of doing business in Ghana is “killing them.”
Source:Yaovi KORYEKPOR AWLESU