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Commodity prices likely to go up over ‘high’ duty charges

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A group by the name Traders Advocacy Group Ghana says consumers should expect an increase in commodity prices in the coming weeks.

According to the group, commodity prices may shoot up because of the increasing cost of freight and duty charges at the port.

The group is thus calling on the government to address the high charges paid at the port to forestall a hike in the prices of goods in the country.

The General Secretary of the group, Nana Poku in a Citi Business News interview after addressing the press recently stressed that they will have no option other than to pass on the rising cost to the consumer if the situation remains unchanged.

“We spend a lot of capital before we could import all these kinds of commodities that we sell on the market. For now, we’ve realized that negotiating with government ends up with nothing. And the government is supposed to know that we hold power.”

He added that, “If I am spending GHS20, I am expecting to get back GHS30. We will not sell for less for traders to get out of business. We can’t stay out of business because the government is not resourcing any of us. So, what we are doing is that, if government goes a step further, we will go even further.”

The Ghana Union of Traders Associations (GUTA) had earlier raised similar concerns and proposed that the duties be calculated at a standard rate of freight charges.

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, freights have seen a significant hike, with some traders lamenting prices have shot up in some cases from about $4,000 to over $10,000.

“The freight cost is also a determinant in customs duty calculation, so any increment would automatically lead to higher duty charges,” Nana Poku added.

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