The Minority Spokesperson on Finance, Cassiel Ato Forson is asking Ghanaians to be measured in jubilating over the announcement that import duties have been slashed at the ports.
He is in effect casting doubt on the latest government policy announced by Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia on Wednesday, describing it as “populist”.
At a Town Hall meeting organized by government’s Economic Management Team, the Vice President revealed that the benchmark valuation for general goods has been slashed by 50 percent whilst that of vehicles by 30 percent effective Thursday, April 4.
The move, according to Dr Bawumia, is to ensure an increase in the volume of imports through the country’s ports instead of through neighbouring countries.
He said available data shows that traffic at the Lome Harbour, for instance, has increased by some 300 per cent between 2013 and 2018 while that of Ghana has seen just a little over 4 per cent increase within the same period.
But Ato Forson who speaks for the Minority on Finance in an interview with journalists referred Ghanaians to the wild jubilation that welcomed the 2017 budget when government abolished duties on spare parts.
He noted that the excitement of the spare parts dealers was shortlived because the policy did not ease the cost of clearing goods at the ports.
“Abossey Okai will happen again,” he predicted, “I will challenge any individual to go to the port and clear your goods.”
He added, “So tomorrow go and clear your car. I expect a 30% reduction. If you fail to get a 30% reduction, then, again he has lied.”
According to Ato Forson, Dr. Bawumia was “outstaged” by the Finance Minister in his recent statement to Parliament leaving the Vice President nothing to tell Ghanaians but to rehash already known information.
“He has very little to say, he was more or less like reading a state of the nation address, that HE the president had come to deliver.
“I find it mediocre, in fact it’s mediocracy at its height, I didn’t see anything substantial…you could see lies, lies”.