The leadership Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) has been tagged by the Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana (IEAG) as the main cause of the current economic hardship and high cost of doing business in Ghana.
Mr. Samson Awingobit Asaki, Executive Secretary of the Importers and Exporters Association in a statement available to the Communication for Development and Advocacy Consult (CDA Consult) in Tema on Saturday said “all these hardships and challenges largely have to do with GUTA’s endorsement of government’s unwarranted and insensitive policies towards trading”.
The Importers and Exporters Association claimed that “the current GUTA leadership is in bed with the government endorsing all its policies even when it is not in the interest of traders”.
“Almost all the policies the government has introduced and implemented have received the blessings of GUTA, yet, they will leave the meeting grounds, go into the market and behave like saints and innocent or ignorant of what is happening to the business community,” the statement indicated.
“The way and manner the current GUTA Executives are treating the government and some of its unfriendly trade policies leave one to wonder if the current GUTA executives are not directly and personally benefiting from the government at the expense of their members and the cherished trading public,” the statement added.
The IEAG cautioned that until the current GUTA leadership acknowledged that they were leaders because of their members, and stand firm to oppose policies that are against the business community just like their sister associations do, the hardship the business community was facing would be worse.
“It is worrying that any time trades organizations kicked against some government’s unfravourable policies, the government then runs to GUTA, or GUTA leaders on their own volition would go to the government to support them at the expense of defending their members’ interests.
“Until the current GUTA leadership change and realize that they are not leaders on their own and therefore cannot take decisions all the time on their own, but rather need to consult with their membership including sister associations, we will still have these problems at hand in the Ghanaian Trading Environment.”
It emphasized that “it must therefore be placed on record that GUTA was responsible for the difficulties all Ghanaian businesses were going through by accepting and allowing the implementation of some government’s insensitive policies”.
The Association, therefore, called on all the importers and traders in Ghana to put pressure on the current GUTA leadership to sit up and think of the plight of traders instead of bowing to the whims and caprices of the current government all the time.
The Importers and Exporters Association explained that interactions with some operators in the country revealed that they were losing huge revenue.
The Association noted that the traders admitted having lost a minimum of about 40 percent of their revenues monthly due to the unfavourable policies of the government.
It added that prices of goods have gone up by 30 percent in all sectors making consumers’ purchasing power drop drastically.