The Member of Parliament for Assin Central and a presidential hopeful of the governing NPP, Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, says the NPP government is determined to empower the Ghanaian business community, particularly traders at the Makola Market and Abossey-Okai, in creating an equal playing field for everyone to harness their potential and make a decent living.
The lawmaker said government can do more in rebounding the economy than eternally blaming traders and entrepreneurs for inflation and the hike in dollar rate in the country.
Addressing traders at Abossey Okai during a health screening exercise organised under his auspices, Mr Agyapong assured them of the NPP’s ability to work to enhance their social and economic status.
He also advised the traders to be cautious of their health, saying “one major health problem in Ghana, which has become a leading cause of hospital admissions and death, is hypertension”.
He stated that the surest way for Ghanaians to witness the full transformation of Ghana is to support his bid to win the NPP flagbearership race and ultimately become President of the country in 2024.
The Assin Central MP stressed that it is a wrong step to continually blame some of these traders making decent living to support themselves, families and Ghana in general.
“It’s high time we questioned foreign banks in Ghana since they rather end up repatriating all their profits to their home countries. This has serious impact on the country’s financial threshold. The time has come to change it; Ghana first. When a Ghanaian is comfortable in engaging in his venture, that’s when things will thrive,” he stated.
Mr Agyapong also reiterated that because of the generous policies for business in Ghana, most of the multinational firms operating in the country tend to repatriate all their profits. Such tendencies, he lamented, deprive the state of adequate funds to run the economy.
“As we try to convince government to enact a legislation that will make multinational firms retain portions of their profits in the country over a given period, we appeal to these firms to consider retaining some of their profits in the country voluntarily to help sustain the currency and the economy,” he stated.
He revealed that information indicates that most multinational or foreign firms repatriate about 80% of their earnings, a move that negatively impacts Ghana’s socio-economic development. For instance, he indicated, foreign mining companies retain an average of 80% of their annual earnings in line with binding agreements passed by Parliament in 2003.
The Assin Central MP assured the traders that, when given the nod, he would provide soft loans to expand their businesses for maximum profits and efficiency.
According to him, he would invest in the Ghanaian business community, be it local automotive industry at Abossey-Okai in Accra, Suame Magazine in Kumasi, and others, rather than collapse them.
He believes that with the active support of his government, the ministries of Finance, Trade and Industry and Agriculture and the banking sector, the country’s local companies can easily manufacture in sufficient quantities products such as rice, poultry, vegetable oil, toothpick, pasta, fruit juice, bottled water and ceramic tiles, among others.
Touting his support for the Ghanaian business community, Mr Agyapong revealed that he was part of the leading MPs who opposed the Bill against importation of used cars into the country, which has now been suspended.
He revealed that barely some months ago, leadership of Abossey-Okai Spare parts met him at Tema to deliberate on the matter. “What your leaders told me is that some vehicle manufacturing companies in Ghana are calling for the ban of used cars and spare parts in the country to their detriment and Ghana,” he recalled.
He therefore lauded the efforts of the Majority Leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, for listening to their plea, which eventually led to the Bill’s suspension in Parliament.