Bawumia Pledges Better Conditions For Ghana’s Ports


 Bawumia Pledges Better Conditions For Ghana’s Ports

The flagbearer of the governing New Patriotic Party and incumbent Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, has pledged to align Ghana’s port duties and charges with that of Togo’s, indicating that there will be a fixed exchange rate over a period to improve the importation of goods into the country.

He also pledged that duties at the port, by policy, will not be higher than it is in Lome (Togo) to ensure that goods are not diverted to the ports in Lome and to reduce the issue of smuggling goods from Togo into Ghana.

Dr. Adu Owusu Sarkodie, an Economist at the University of Ghana, commenting on the Vice President’s remarks indicated that the NPP flagbearer aims to develop the private sector to drive the economic development strides.

He disclosed that the incumbent government, in a failed attempt, introduced a 50% discount benchmark in 2019 to ensure that the domestic port has a competitive edge against the other ports in the sub-region and to direct traffic to the Ghana ports.

Furthermore, Dr. Sarkodie noted that the Vice President’s proposal is a good initiative while he touts the Vice President’s consistent efforts to develop the private sector. He indicated that if the government can successfully implement the policy it will increase traffic at Ghana’s ports and propel the economy.

As such, he emphasized that the policy suggested by the President is feasible to achieve, indicating that the government may have picked lessons from the failed attempts in 2019 while asserting that Ghana has no other option than to become competitive if it wants to draw revenue from its ports.

“Maybe there is a fear of loss in revenue but I have already made the point that it is possible to get more revenue by lowering your duties where there is an increase in traffic at the ports”, Dr. Sarkodie noted.

He also indicated that the current International Monetary Fund (IMF) program the country is undertaking will not affect the implementation of this policy. He noted that the IMF does not dictate to countries the means of increasing their revenue though it may advise countries to increase their revenues.

Bawumia’s Promises, Impractical

The Deputy General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Mr. Mustapha Gbande, noted that business owners are presently losing their capital to high taxes and the high cost of trading, arguing that the high cost of trading affects consumers whose incomes cannot match the rising cost of living.

He further accused the incumbent government of being unserious concerning the plights of Ghanaians, arguing that the ideal situation would be for the Vice President to implement these policies now while Ghanaians are amid an economic muddle and not wait until he becomes the President.

He alleged that the Vice President is the one in charge of the current NPP administration while the President is just a ceremonial head, emphasizing that the Vice President has the authority to implement any policy he deems fit for the country.

Conclusively, Mr. Mustapha Gbande noted that due to the high taxes imposed by the incumbent government in the ports and other sectors of the economy, it is unrealistic for the Vice President to pledge that he will erase all these taxes completely.

He argued that a better alternative would be for the government to scrap these taxes gradually.

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GNBCC | News