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Christmas: GUTA Causing Fear And Panic With “Shortage Of Goods” Comment – Deputy Trade Minister

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The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr. Michael Okyere Baafi, has fired the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) over the warning that there will be shortages of goods ahead of Christmas.

GUTA at a press conference in Accra on Wednesday, November 2, 2022 hinted of a shortage of goods ahead of the festive season, citing the high cost of imports.

It said the containers coming out of the ports are nothing to write home about.

Public Relations Officer, Joseph Paddy told the media that people were not improving because of the rising cost of duty and freight charges as a result of the depreciation of the cedi.

“Containers that are coming out of the port are nothing good to write home about. People are not importing, people are keeping their money because if you import you can’t sell and break even or even maximize. So what we are going to see in the shortest possible time we are going to see a shortage of goods” he said.

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“They prefer to keep their money in Treasury bills rather than import and lose”, he added.

 

Responding to GUTA’s assertion on Atinka TV’s morning show, Ghana Nie with Ekourba Gyasi Simpremu, Mr Michael Okyere Baafi was unhappy with GUTA, saying that they (GUTA) just causing fear and panic to the public.

 

“These are some of the things GUTA sometimes does, and we do not agree with them, and they also do not agree with us.” We have a very good working relationship with them, we engage them behind the scenes and meet with them. Sometimes, when you put these things out there, it creates a lot of tension. It creates a lot of unnecessary problems in the system. “You put it out there that GUTA warns of a shortage of goods ahead of Christmas, that is not a good statement to make.” “When it happens like that, you create fear and panic and unnecessary tension in the system,” he fumed.

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Mr Michael Okyere Baafi said even if it was a fact and GUTA had something to say, they should have directed it to the Trade Ministry, adding that putting it in the public was not ideal because it may be that it is just a few of the traders who do not have the means to purchase goods from outside the country.

Based on what GUTA has stated, the Minister said those who import or sell goods and already have some available may start to hoard them with the intention of releasing them during Christmas.

“You cannot make those statements out there; when it happens like that, it creates unnecessary tension, and that is not what we want.”

“We all want the country to develop, but that is not the way to go,” he said. He explained that this is why the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo engaged the Bank of Ghana on the dollar rate so that the traders could go purchase .

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He even said sometimes, the Bank of Ghana auctions the “dollars” for the traders to get easy access to the currency.

“When you go to the Bank of Ghana, you can get some to buy your goods, but you haven’t gone to see if you’ll get any, and you’re saying you’re not getting dollars.” “I do not believe it is appropriate,” he stated.

 

 

 

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Source:   Atinka online | Porcia Oforiwaa Ofori

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