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Ghana Union Of Traders Association (GUTA) had a press conference on the 19th September 2017 at opera square in Accra.Nana Poku who is Secretary of the GUTA emphasized in the statement that, and I quote. You would recalled that, in May 2017 the vice president H. E DR.  Mahamadu Bawumia at the port efficiency conference organized to improve trade in the country, directed the Ghana port and Harbour authority (GPHA) and Customs division of Ghana revenue authority (GRA) to implement one hundred percent paperless system at the port which took effect on 1st September, 2017.

He said, for us as (GUTA) Greater Accra Region,we welcome the implementation of the full paperless clearing system although the training session to us was not enough. We traders in Ghana have branded the initiative as (Adwadifor Adanfo).
Our key concern as a union is the sharp increase or the use of the  new Benchmark values which took effect from 26th of July 2017.To us we are not surprised as a union, when government came out singing praises of the gains made barely within a week of introducing the paperless system.

We have been overwhelmed with the numerous complaints from members of the trading community, especially importers,about this arbitrary Benchmark values increase on imports, on average these values have gone up by more than three hundred percent (300 percent) which clearly have a devastating effect on our businesses and it's repercussion of government effects aimed at curbing prices may not be achieved.

As good citizens of Ghana we are strongly pleading to government to revise strategies towards addressing the challenging facing the ongoing implementation of the paperless transaction system to drastically reduced the Benchmark values on imports.
Nana Poku said, foreigner national are operating in our retail sectors and are not paying VAT and all other related take to (GRA)
In addition they are into money laundering in our various markets moving round to convince some of our Co-business men /women market from going to the various recognize Banks to transfer money to their counterparts outside.

The ripple effects in this lawlessness on the part of these foreigners is what we are all witnessing today of some Banks collapsing and the unstable foreign exchange.

Again these same illegal foreign operators are also imitating the indigenous registered products,also known as (Copy) sub-standard  products that sell cheap I'm our market and selfishly employing their fellow nationals instead of Ghanaians.
He continued, these unlawful actions by these foreigners had led to high cost of shop rental in our various markets which is causing the indigenous to lose their shops to foreigners

Nana Poku express once again. As a union, we are law abiding citizen, so we are giving our law enforcement agencies and the authorities of our dear country to ensure that these  illegal foreign operators are to leave our market by the end of October, 2017.

The inability of government and our law enforcement agencies to enforce the (GIPC) Act stated above by 31st October, 2017.We will be compelled as a union to seize filling our (VAT) returns and other Taxes. The same tax laws which mandate us to meet all our tax obligation,should compelled the state security agencies to enforce the (GIPC) LAW.

GUTA Greater Accra Region is ever ready to defend its possible, reason being that, traders will not pay taxes if foreigners continue their unlawful trading activities in our various markets which the laws of the land prohibits. We will wait patiently for interpretation from any law court if some laws in Ghana surpasses the other.

Source: Kofi Dwumah/

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