Gov’t suspends L.I. restricting importation of 22 items

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Government has suspended the Import Restriction Legislative Instrument (L.I) that was seeking to ban the importation of some 22 products.

Minister of Information Kojo Oppong Nkrumah confirmed the suspension to journalists in Parliament on Thursday, December 7.

He said the suspension would allow for further engagement with stakeholders and ensure everyone is on the same page.

He emphasized the importance of this engagement, highlighting the goal of boosting local production of these goods.

“The laying of the Legislative Instrument is being suspended to enable the various stakeholder groups who have still outstanding issues to have those issues discussed and hopefully addressed before the next line of action is taken on that particular policy,” the Ofoase Ayirebi lawmaker said.

The Minority vehemently opposed the Legislative Instrument after arguing that it would breed corruption.

The Minority Leader Dr Cassiel Ato Forson has said that Ghana cannot produce most of the 22 items that were captured under the L.I.

For instance, he said, Ghana cannot produce the quantity of sugar for local consumption.

“Ghana does not have any significant local capacity to produce sugar among other others… neither has the government outlined any incentives to promote the local production of such products,” the Ajumako Enyan Essiam lawmaker said during the ‘Moment of Truth’ series of the National Democratic Congres (NDC) in Accra on Wednesday, December 6.

Earlier, his deputy, Mr Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah said “We are not able to say that as a result of the One-District-One-Factory (1D1F), we are not importing into Ghana one of these products. We are not able to say that because of Planting for Food and Jobs after we spent all these billions, we have solved all these problems. If we want to solve the problem of our import bill, the reasons why this is being done, we must address it honestly.”

“But to go back to a very discredited and outmoded licensing regime that has created corruption. You don’t put politicians in charge of issuing licenses; you know what the outcome will be. We have gone past that,” he said.

The Trade Minister earlier justified the move to restrict the importation.

Speaking during a press briefing in Parliament, the Minister of Trade and Industry, K.T Hammond said, “Stomach of animals, bladder and the chunk of intestines (yemuadie), the country had had to put in an amount of about $164 million towards the importation of these items. We are taking steps to ensure that in terms of rice, there’s no poverty of rice in the country.

“By these restrictions, we are not going to ensure that there’s no food in the country at all; that is not the point at all. There have to be some efforts by the government to ensure that we go back to Acheampong’s operation feed yourself. There are about 22 items on the list, one of them, I think, is diapers.”

Find the full list of 22 items considered for import restriction below:

  1. Rice
  2. Guts, bladders and stomach of animals
  3. Poultry
  4. Animal and Vegetable Oil
  5. Margarine
  6. Fruit Juices
  7. Soft Drink
  8. Mineral Water
  9. Noodles and Pasta
  10. Ceramic Tiles
  11. Corrugated Paper and Paper Board
  12. Mosquito Coil and Insecticides
  13. Soaps and Detergents
  14. Motor Cars
  15. Iron and Steel
  16. Cement
  17. Polymers (Plastics and Plastic Products)
  18. Fish
  19. Sugar
  20. Clothing and Apparel
  21. Biscuits
  22. Canned Tomatoes

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