The Minority in Parliament has raised objections to the Minister of Trade and Industry Minister, Kobina Tahir Hammond, over his laying of the Export and Import Regulations 2023 before the House.
They argue that there has been a lack of engagement with the caucus and relevant stakeholders regarding the Legislative Instrument (L.I.).
The L.I. aims to restrict the importation of 22 selected, strategic goods into the country.
In a debate in parliament on November 28, Ahmed Ibrahim, the First Deputy Minority Whip, stressed on the seriousness of the matter and why it must be thoroughly discussed.
“Mr. Speaker, the matter is a very serious one that hinges on the survival of businesses in this country. Mr. Speaker, we are not just objecting, and care should be taken. Let’s reflect on the serious issues that have been raised on this floor, and the minority has raised objections. Which of them didn’t go back to come and fight for this country? And this is one of them,” he said.
He continued, highlighting a recent petition from six associations, including the Ghana Union of Traders’ Associations (GUTA), Food and Beverages Association of Ghana (FABAG), Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana, Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders (GIFF), Chamber of Automobile Dealership Ghana (CADEG), and Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI).
The petition expressed confidence the group had in the Members of Parliament and urged them to consider their concerns.
The Member of Parliament for Tamale Central, Ibrahim Murtala Mohammed, added that the it was wrong for the minister to be given the sole power to determine who imports goods in the country.
“… KT Hammond can’t be seeking the paramount of knowledge when he has trade and industry issues in this country. You want to bring L.I. and you find members of the important committee, whose responsibility it is to ensure that trade is properly regulated in parliament. And that committee was not consulted in the decision leading to the decision you have taken.
“What kind of law are you seeking to make, giving an individual – a minister, an exclusive authority to determine who imports goods in this country? The same law says the minister can decide to disregard the recommendation of the committee and KT Hammond is comfortable with that,” he lamented.