The government of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) led by President John Dramani Mahama, has not been helpful to the cause of traders, Ampadu Siaw, Chairman of the Secondhand Spare Parts Dealers Association at Abossey Okai, has said.
He said spare parts dealers in the area, in addition to bad roads and poor sanitation, were suffocating under high taxes and unstable exchange rates foisted on them by the NDC administration. The situation, he said, has eroded their profit margins leaving many of them to now operate at a loss.
Mr Siaw made this known to Chief Jerry Forson during a special edition of Ghana Yensom, aired from Abossey Okai, Accra’s most notable destination for automobile parts.
He said unlike the period from 2000 to 2008 when business was “profitable” thanks to a strong cedi, the situation had been dire from 2009 because the local currency continued to lose ground to foreign currencies – which they rely on to import their goods.
“…Today, you cannot import goods and be sure that at the time of clearing them from the ports, you will have your money back because the dollar is about 4.2, 4.3 thereabouts…while at the Tema port, the import duty will have jumped from the previous charge,” he lamented.
Mr Siaw added that most traders buy goods at a lower exchange rate only to realise that by the time they have to return to the market to restock their shops, exchange rates had gone up, forcing them to pay more for their goods, adding that many financial institutions were now reluctant to loan them cash to support their businesses, while the few willing to do so offered prohibitive interest rates.
The situation, he explained, had left spare parts traders with so much to worry about, which was having a toll on their health.
“So it can be said that this administration, they have not helped business. Most of the goods you see here are being sold at a loss.”