Traders threaten to stop imports for two weeks

About eight trader groups and importers in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region are threatening to close their shops and stop imports for two weeks to protest the continuous free fall of the cedi against major trading currencies.

The traders who import and sell clothes and wares say the unstable nature of the exchange rate is collapsing their business and also eroding their capital.

The Deputy Secretary of the importers association in Kumasi, Nana Yaw Agyeman, said the leadership of the various groups is mobilizing members to begin the strike next week.

“At this moment, we are running at a loss. All our capitals are in a ditch,” Mr. Agyeman said to Citi News.

“The inflation is killing us. It is collapsing all our finances, collapsing all our capital, and we cannot sit down for our capital to drain like that,” he added.

The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) went on strike last week over similar concerns.

The strike lasted two days because the government came out with some interventions to appease the importers.

Among interventions and concessions the government has made to GUTA, a Deputy Trade and Industry Minister, Michael Okyere Baafi, said a fixed exchange rate will be maintained at the ports for the next three months to cushion traders who import goods.

The Deputy Minister also said the government will suspend the ongoing invigilation by the Ghana Revenue Authority that has resulted in protests and the closure of businesses, specifically in Adum, Kumasi.