By: Jeremiah Nutsugah
The Member of Parliament (MP) for Sissala West, Mohammed Adams Sukparu, who is a member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has voiced strong reservations on the proposed bill seeking Parliamentary approval to restrict the importation of 22 items. Mr Adams Sukparu argued that this legislation could potentially lead to corruption and price hikes in Ghana.
The Sissala West MP was speaking on News and Current Affair Programme, “Focus” on GTV today, November 29, 2023.
Following the introduction of the Bill by the Minister for Trade and Industries, KT Hammond, the response to the decision has been that of mixed reactions from stakeholders, with both the Majority and Minority expressing concerns.
The MP for Sissala stated that the Minister had not adequately engaged with the relevant stakeholders before proposing the bill.
Mohammed Adams Sukparu emphasized that for policies aimed at creating a conducive environment for local producers, fostering job opportunities, and encouraging the consumption of domestic goods, a significant percentage of the items listed in the Bill should be produced locally on a large scale.
He argued that Ghana’s production capacity falls short of the market demands, with some items barely reaching 25% local production.
One critical point of contention raised by the MP was the high demand for poultry.
“The demand for poultry is about 400000 metric tons and Ghana is only able to produce 57,871 metrics tons which is not even half of the market demand, now the importation of poultry meat into the country is about 180 metric tons and still with deficit about 162,129 metric tons left” Mr Adams Sukparu explained.
He expressed concern that the proposed Legislative Instrument (LI) would grant the Minister of Trade and Industries sole authority to issue permits for importing such items.
Mr Adams Sukparu warned that this approach could lead to favoritism and an increase in prices if the LI is passed without addressing these concerns.
The legislation, which spans a number of items such as rice, offals (‘Yemuadie’), margarine, motor cars, soft drinks, and mosquito coils, among others.
The proposed bill is now subject to further parliamentary review and debate, where lawmakers will assess its potential impact on the local economy, job opportunities, and consumer welfare.