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Our Messiah Has Deceived And Robbed Us

By: Kweku Boateng

The Parliament of Ghana has passed the Customs Amendment Bill, 2020. The law was passed to ban importation of accident cars and salvaged motor vehicles, and those older than 10 years into Ghana. The Act amends the Customs Act, 2015 (Act 891). Garage operators in Ghana have not been happy with the government's decision. They argue that the implementation of the ban will result in them losing their livelihoods.

Currently, over 90% of vehicles driven on our highways in the country are salvaged vehicles imported at relatively cheaper costs into the country. According to data available from the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), over 100,000 cars are imported into the country every year. Over 80% of these imported vehicles are salvaged cars.

Many stakeholders depend on the salvaged vehicles business for survival. Some of these people include Mechanics, Straighteners, Sprayers, Upholsters, Auto Mechanics, Key Programmers, Radiator Specialists, Gas Installers, Vehicle Accessories Dealers etc. The owner of a mechanic shop, Mr. Yaw Mensah told me he had about 10 different specialists in his garage. And each specialist had his own workers and apprentices. "If my garage alone has about 30 people working, multiply that by the several hundreds of garages in Adenta alone", he said. Master, "I can tell you there are over 500,000 people in the garage business nationwide, excluding our dependants", he stressed.

According to Mr. Mensah, some politicians don't use sound judgment in making decisions. "How can one or two people go and see the President with such a selfish idea and the President agrees"? he asked. "A policy that makes several thousands of people unemployed," he added.

Mr. Mensah further stated that "because a few people are taking shares in the VW Company assembly plant in Accra, the President does not care that close to a million people will lose their jobs across the country. This is sad" Again, Mr. Mensah asked angrily, "How many Ghanaians can buy a new car in Ghana?". He said he believed that, largely, it is politicians and people in the public sector who loot state resources through corruption who are able to purchase new personal vehicles.

According to Mr. Mensah, he does not believe Mr. Akufo-Addo is a patriotic Ghanaian, who knows how to create jobs for the many unemployed Ghanaians but wants to collapse businesses that poor and helpless Ghanaians have created and survived on for many years. "This is selfishness".

Another auto electrician in the same garage, Mr. Samuel Manu stated furiously that the most popular cars in Ghana now are Toyota, Nissan, Honda, and other Japanese vehicles. If the President really had ordinary Ghanaians in mind, they will not start with the assembling of VW cars. How many people use VW vehicles in Ghana?

When the government bans the importation of salvaged vehicles, the population of vehicles in the country will be reduced. The number of people who purchase parts will reduce, people who sell vehicle accessories will go out of business, several garages will close down. Abossey Okai, Kokompe, and Suame Magazine will experience depleted activity. What happens to the many thousands who will be out of work? Mr. Manu asked.

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