The Ashanti regional chapter of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) has threatened protest against officials of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).
GUTA said this action is in response to what it describes as the ‘unjustified harassment’ meted out to its members by customs officials at various entry points despite making their tax obligations.
The group believes the conduct of these officials is a subtle attempt to collapse businesses in the region.
Chairman of the Ashanti GUTA, Anthony Oppong told Asaase News that the situation is taking a toll on their businesses as the situation has forced most of their members to relocate their businesses to the national capital Accra.
“We see it as an agenda by some unscrupulous people to destroy businesses in the Ashanti region, and we will not allow it to happen, and they can’t use their positions to intimidate and harass our businesses here in the Ashanti region.
There are situations where people have paid their duties, cleared their goods and the containers are impounded, taken to the Aboabo yard, and when the container is placed there it is at the convenience of the customs that they will open it, which adds up to the demurrage.
Because of that now people are relocating to Accra, the magazine is quiet these days, you do not see any container being off-loaded because people prefer off-loading their containers in Accra than bringing them to Kumasi because of the harassment of the customs people.”
The Leadership of GUTA is already in talks with the Ashanti Regional Security Council and other stakeholders over the matter, Anthony Oppong wants authorities in the region to resolve the situation by the end of the month or face their wrath.
“We look forward to what will come out of the efforts of the regional Minister, we have given ourselves till the end of next month if we don’t hear anything positive we will organise a press conference and follow it with a massive demonstration.”
Reporting by Irene Pomaa Kumi in Ashanti Region
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