Traders from Ashanti Region have voiced their growing concerns about persistent harassment by customs officers.
In an interview on Opemsuo Radio’s Nkwantannanso with Kofi Boakye on September 13, Mr. Albert Mensah Offei, the Ashanti Regional Public Relations Officer (PRO) of Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), shed light on the recurring issue that has plagued local traders for several months, and he emphasized that the problem appears to be uniquely affecting Ashanti Region traders.
Mr. Offei lamented the predicament, saying, “When we go to the port to retrieve our goods and dutifully pay our taxes, we find ourselves ensnared in a relentless cycle of harassment. The Eastern Regional Council apprehends us, Nkwakwa poses the same challenge, and even when we’re headed home from Takoradi, the issues persist.”
“Equally frustrating is the fact that traders who import from Togo utilizing VIP buses to transport goods to the Ashanti Region face similar seizures, further exacerbating the problem, which seems to be confined to Ashanti. We feel intimidated.”
He continued to explain that leadership of GUTA has tirelessly engaged with numerous stakeholders to find a solution, but their efforts have thus far proven futile.
The mounting sense of intimidation is causing traders to feel alienated, as if Ashanti Region is not an integral part of Ghana.
In an effort to resolve this pressing issue, the union has set a two-week ultimatum for the government to respond. Should their pleas go unanswered, traders are prepared to stage a protest, which may include temporarily shutting down their shops.