The Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana has described the State of the Nation Address presented by President Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo on Wednesday, 8th March, 2023 as full of hopelessness for businesses.
In a statement, the Association explains that attempts by the Nana Addo-led government to get Parliament to, as a matter of urgency, speed up the passage of two important bills will hurt the business community.
The statement further highlighted some other challenges confronting the business community such as the high interest rates and high utility bills.
Read the full statement below;
SONA 2023; PRESIDENT OFFERED LITTLE HOPE BUT RATHER A DOOM FOR BUSINESSES IN THE COUNTRY
Contrary to expectations that President Akufo-Addo’s 2023 state of the Nations Address will offer some hope and relief for businesses in the country amidst the dwindling economic fortunes of the country, the Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana can best describe the 2023 SONA which was delivered by the president on Wednesday the 8th of March, 2023 as nothing short of hopelessness to the business community.
The Nana Addo-led government has since its assumption of office introduced more taxes on the business community rather than put in place pragmatic measures to bring some sort of relief to the industrial sector.
We are saddened to have heard the president impressing on Parliament to, as a matter of urgency, speed up the passage of two important bills that we believe will hurt the business community. The bills, the Income Tax Amendment Bill, and the Excise Duty Tax, if passed, will lead to a higher increase in the cost of doing business in the country.
With inflation high and the cedi steadily depreciating, whereas Bank lending rates have become unattractive, coupled with high utility tariffs which have seen Ghanaian producers passing on the cost to the ordinary consumers, we fear for the worse if these two bills are passed by Parliament.
We thought the President would have taken advantage of the 2023 SONA to give some hope to the business community and even the ordinary consumers (citizens), however, the Nana Addo-led government once again confirmed our long-standing conviction that they (the government) have lost touch with reality and the sufferings of Ghanaians.
We as an association and members of the business community have lost confidence in the Nana Addo-led government and believe it’s time the government either chart a new path in restoring the economy or bringing some form of relief to us.
We can confidently say the president’s 2023 state of the Nation Adddress fell short of our expectations.
Samson Asaki Awingobit