The Chamber of Automobile Dealership Ghana (CADEG) has urged the Tema Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) in charge of clearance of goods and vehicles at the country’s ports and harbours to advise government to maintain the stability of the dollar rate.
CADEG has also called on them to strive to maintain rates for at least three to six months in boosting mutual economic activity to help increase government revenue at the port.
It made the call yesterday during a meeting with the newly appointed Sector Commander of the Tema collection unit to discuss ways to improve the mandate of the Division at the port.
The Executive Secretary of CADED, Dumenu George, lamented that the consistent re-rating of the dollar at the ports is preventing importers from planning for their operations aside of the costs to their operations.
He indicated that there are too many agencies with multiplicity of functions at the port which must be consolidated into one or two to facilitate efficiency at the ports in optimising charges.
“We plead that all these agencies should be a unified, code all boxes into one with a single charge to avoid duplication of functions and the waste of time at the port,” he stated.
The national vice chairman of the Chamber, Kusi Ankomah, who is the owner of Erata Motors Company, touched on the growing concerns about vehicles imported from America and Canada that are sometimes classified as “Stolen Vehicle” in Ghana.
He cited the recent raid in various dealerships by the Economic and Organised Crime Organization (EOCO), National Investigation Bureau (NIB), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Royal Canada Mount Police (CMP), and the Ghana Police Service, leading to seizure of several vehicles and subsequent arrest and harassment of owners of these dealership (garage owners).
That, Mr Ankomah indicated, had created huge mistrust between purchasers of used vehicles and dealerships in Ghana.
He believes that these inspectorate agencies are required to verify all these vehicles and their requisite documents and approve same before they are allowed to pay huge import taxes to the state.
“We are of the view that, these inspectorate agencies are required to verify all these vehicles and their requisite documents and approve same before we are allowed to pay huge import taxes to the state. It then comes to us as a surprise that these vehicles after going through these checks are now tagged as a “Stolen Vehicles”, he added.
He argued that the checks and balances in these countries are so strict that an ordinary trader from Ghana does not have the sophistication needed to perpetrate such crime easily, and called on Government to intervene to save businesses.
The maiden engagement with selected major stakeholders in industry, was made up of the Chamber of Automobile Dealership Ghana (CADEG), Ghana Union Traders Association (GUTA), Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), Chamber of Commerce (Burkina Faso), Chamber of Commerce (Mali), Chamber of Commerce (Niger), Trade Advocate Group of Ghana (TAAG) and Cement Distributors Association of Ghana.
For her part, the Sector Commander (Customs Division) Tema Collection, Assistant Commissioner, Christiana Adjei, said her outfit is committed to improving efficiency and facilitating trade operations at the port of Tema.
She advised the members of CADEG and other stakeholders to report all complaints to her and gave the assurance that her office will partner all trade associations to facilitate trading at the port. She appealed to importers to collaborate with her to improve service delivery, revenue mobilization and fast tracking of activities at the port.
She reaffirmed her team’s readiness to receive any information or complaint from the importers, and called on them to report any problems they face at the port.
She also assured that her office will talk to the needed agencies to help resolve some of the problems facing automobile sector in the country.
The CADEG delegation was led by Elliott Boateng, the National Chairman and Nana Adu Bonsu, the CEO of NABUS Motors and President of Chamber of Automobile Dealership Ghana.