There’s a lot of container diversion to Lome – Bawumia

A lot of containers are being diverted to Lomé because Ghana’s port duties are higher, Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia has complained.

At a town hall meeting with the pharmaceutical industry where he promised to enhance the business-friendliness of ports by implementing fixed exchange rates aimed at alleviating forex pressure faced by traders, the flagbearer of the governing New Patriotic Party promised that his government, should he win the December election, is “going to make sure that our duties in ports, by policy, can not be higher than in Lome, which is our competitor.”

“And right now, there’s a lot of diversion of containers to Lome because ours are higher”, he observed. Dr. Bawumia also vowed that he is “going to change the duty structure and go into more of a flat specific duty”. He explained: “If you have a 40-footer container, you know how much you are paying in cedis…So, you take the exchange rate out of the matter and deal with it”, he added.

At the meeting, the President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana, Dr. Kow Donkor said it was imperative their concerns were addressed to safeguard the industry. “We know the oil industry; the Bank of Ghana makes available the US dollars for their imports, pharmaceutical industry and medicines are also special items. When you have a shortage of medicines, that becomes a national security issue”, he said.

“If the central bank is going to make funding available at a special rate for the pharmaceutical importers and manufacturers, it will also go a long way to stabilise the prices.”


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