In an interview with Accra-based Citi FM, Mr Obeng said due to the high import rates in Ghana some Ghanaian traders buy imported goods from their neighbouring West African countries since it is cheaper than importing directly into Ghana.
“We have compared the charges we pay to other Sub Saharan West African, Ghana has the highest import levy charges. This makes the cost of doing business relatively high. That is why you see most of the Ghanaian traders, going to Togo and Nigeria to do business. They are not even going to buy made in Togo or Nigerian goods; they are going to buy imported goods,” he said.
He said this affects the Ghanaian currency and economy of the country negatively.
Meanwhile, the Council of State has met with President Akufo-Addo to talk about a possible downward review of the duties paid by Ghanaian importers and exporters at the country’s ports.
The meeting was held after the Council of State received petitions from the Trade Union members, Ghana Union of Traders Associations (GUTA) and other related parties pleading for them to intervene and help save them from the exorbitant charges.
At the meeting, the Chairman of the Council, Nana Otuo Serebuo II, told the president that they have met with the importers and exporters. He added that the importers and exporters were unhappy over what they described as exorbitant taxes at the country’s ports and called for an immediate reduction.
He said their pleas necessitated a meeting to bring these concerns to the attention of the President.
Aside from the meeting with President Akufo-Addo, the council of elders had also met with other stakeholders including the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta; Trade and Industry Minister, Alan Kyerematen; the Commissioner of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Isaac Crentsil and leadership of GUTA hoping to find a lasting solution to the problem.