Mahama Exposes NDC Minority Over Stance On Import Restrictions

John Mahama


Former President and Flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Dramani Mahama, has declared his support for imposing import restrictions on essential commodities if he secures victory in the upcoming December elections, drawing attention to the need for strengthening local industries.
The current administration had proposed regulations to control imported products that can be found on the Ghanaian market by local being producers.
But these regulations in the form of bills were blocked by the minority in Parliament.

But the NDC flagbearer, John Dramani Mahama says import restrictions are the way to go to strengthen local companies promising to introduce legislation to back it up.
As reported by various sources, Mahama said the current unbridled imports of goods and services contribute significantly to Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), amounting to around 40 percent.

At a meeting with the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) in Accra, Mahama laid out his plans to invigorate key sectors like the Volta Aluminium Company (VALCO) with a specific focus on downstream aluminum activities.
The objective behind this move is to enhance local production capacities for essential items, subsequently enabling the imposition of restrictions on their uncontrolled importation.

Mahama emphasized his administration’s commitment to boosting local production of key goods including rice, sugar, tomato, fish, poultry, meat products, vegetable cooking oil, and pharmaceuticals.

He highlighted the importance of building up domestic production capabilities to reduce dependence on imports.

This announcement comes in the wake of the NDC Minority in Parliament challenging President Akufo-Addo to retract a proposed regulation aiming to restrict the importation of various goods such as rice, fruit juice, margarine, cement, fish, sugar, animal products and others, citing concerns about the policy’s impact on the economy.

Trade Minister, Kobina Tahir Hammond, championing the regulation, anticipates that this move will bolster local industries and provide a boost to the national currency. According to the proposed regulation, importers of the specified products must secure approval from the Trade Minister.

In response, the Minority Leader voiced opposition to the regulation, characterizing it as flawed and urging its immediate reversal.
He raised objections to the regulation citing potential impacts on inflation, and questioned the government’s preparedness to address the supply gaps that could emerge from import restrictions.

Critics from the minority party fear that the proposed import restrictions could foster inflation, restrict consumer choices, and potentially favor select groups linked to the ruling New Patriotic Party.


By Vincent Kubi