The Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana (IEAG) has accused the leadership of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) of being the brain behind the high cost of doing business in Ghana.
According to the association, prices of goods have gone up by 30% in all sectors and consumers’ purchasing power has dropped drastically largely due to GUTA’s endorsement of the government’s unwarranted and insensitive policies toward trading in the country.
The Importers and Exporters Association made this accusation in a statement dated Friday, 13 May 2022, and signed by its Executive Secretary Asaki Samson Awingobit.
Below is the full statement:
I have taken my time to visit and interact with some business operators, and many of them admit losing huge revenue in January this year to date on their sales by a huge percentage negatively with some losing about 40% or more in terms of their monthly sales.
Again, prices of goods have gone up by 30% in all sectors and consumers’ purchasing power has dropped drastically. All these hardships and challenges largely have to do with GUTA’s endorsement of the government’s unwarranted and insensitive policies toward trading.
Since the inception of this government, the current GUTA leadership has never succeeded in kicking against any of its policies.
Any time my Association kick against some government’s bad policies, the government then runs to GUTA, or GUTA will go there to say they control traders in this country, yet they can't defend their members and end up being compromised and rather praise the government, putting their own members into distress.
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, behave like saints and are innocent or ignorant of what is happening to the business community.
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 not benefiting from the government at the expense of their members and the cherished trading public.
Let me, therefore, caution that until this current GUTA leadership acknowledges that they are leaders because of their members, and not that they are too powerful or knowledgeable than some of us who always stand firm to oppose certain policies by the government not because we hate the government but rather recognise that we have to protect the interest of our constituent, the hardship the business community is facing will be worse.
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 like the Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana, and the freights forwarders, we will still have these problems at hand in the Ghanaian Trading Environment.
It must therefore be placed on record that GUTA is responsible for the difficulties all Ghanaian businesses are going through by accepting and allowing the implementation of some government insensitive policies.
We are by this statement calling on all the importers and traders in this country 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.