Unbridled imports have 'terrible effect' on Ghana's forex reserves – K.T. Hammond

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Mon, 20 Feb 2023 Source: classfmonline.com

The importation of everything and anything into Ghana is eroding Ghana's forex reserves, Trades minister-designate Kobina Tahir Hammond has complained.

At his vetting on Monday, 20 February 2023, the Adansi Asokwa MP said it was high time the plugs were pulled on some imports.

"Why is it that everything you can think about is being imported into the country?" A bemused Mr Hammond wondered before the Appointments Committee of Parliament.

These imports, he noted, "have terrible effects on our foreign exchange reserves".

"I think it’s about time we took a serious look at this particular issue", he insisted.

"I’m told a committee was put up by cabinet to deal specifically with this matter", he mentioned.

He said: "When I looked at some of the issues that have been raised, I was scandalised".

"I’m told it’s being decided at that level that we should be looking at about 50 specific areas", Mr Hammond said, adding: "I’m scandalised at what appears to be in paragraph 4; it's that what we are importing to Ghana?"

"We are importing guts, bladders, stomachs of animals to Ghana to complement our foods", he explained.

In his view, "that alone totalled about $164,575,000".

"I thought this is a little bit of a scandal", he noted.

"It’s not only this but this is what I find scandalising", he pointed out.

Mr Hammond said: "There are other things on the list such as rice and beverage", noting: "I happened to find out that we were smuggling rice into the country without disclosing it, because if you look at how much we produce locally, and how much we consume, and you do the subtraction, there’s a gap of about 500 to 600 metric tonnes which we consume that are not accounted for in the system".

"There are other ones, too: second-hand clothing, vehicles; there are quite a lot that the government feels should ensure some sanity in the system", Mr Hammond said.

Source: classfmonline.com
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