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Business News of Thursday, 23 July 2020

Source: Daily Guide Network

We won’t collapse second-hand businesses – Akufo-Addo


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President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said his administration has no intention to collapse the business of second-hand products, especially the business of car dealers.

At a meeting with leadership and some members of the Vehicle and Asset Dealers Union of Ghana (VADUG) on Tuesday, the President assured players in the value chain in the importation of second-hand vehicles that the policy of developing local automobile industry was not targeted at destroying their livelihoods.

“We will not make policy that would lead to the destruction of the lives of people like you. It would not make sense at all,” President Akufo-Addo said, adding “we live in a world where there is constant change and there is the need for us to adapt.”

According to him, the ultimate aim is for the country to be self-reliant, provide vehicles for all class of income earners, cut the importation of vehicles while ensuring that those in the local value chain gradually shift into the new paradigm of local production of vehicles.

The meeting which was held at the instance of the President was to enable him to know at firsthand what their concerns were following speculations of seeming disquiet over the new government policy to open the automobile industry for the assembling of brand new cars in the country. Already, VW has shown the way by unveiling the first car to be assembled by a foreign company in Ghana.

Most of the second-hand car dealers thought the policy was part of a ploy by the Akufo-Addo administration to take them out of business. They also raised concerns that not every Ghanaian can afford the cost of vehicles being assembled or manufactured in the country, but the President’s explanation indicated otherwise.

Earlier, the General Secretary of VADUG, Joshua Opoku-Agyemang, stressed the need to introduce some amendments to the Ghana Automotive Manufacturing Development Policy if the businesses of members of the union are to be sustained and also if jobs in the automotive industry value chain, such as clearing agents, tow vehicle owners and drivers, key programmers, straighteners, sprayers, spare parts dealers, mechanics, electricians, auto air-condition technicians, sales agents, security men, washers, among others, are to be protected across the country.

Proposals

They have first asked for Section 151 of ACT 891(2020) to be amended to redefine salvaged vehicles since there are two categories in salvaged titled vehicles, with one being what he described as repairable or junk titled vehicles and the other repairable, repossessed, rebuildable, recoverable and legally exportable vehicles.

The first category of cars is said to be the ones which are usually severely damaged and non-operable, with no resale value other than its parts which are normally sold to licensed dismantlers and scrappers, whilst the other are mainly sold to licensed dealers within the jurisdiction, exporters, rebuilders and other licensed automobile businesses across the globe, with buyers from UAE, Europe, Africa and Middle East.

Unfortunately, Mr. Opoku-Agyemang said vehicles with the conditions above are all referred to as wrecked or destroyed and banned under the blanket term salvage, as per the current passed Customs Bill, 2020, Act 891.

They are, therefore, seeking to amend section 58 of the passed Act to allow the importation of repairable, rebuildable, recoverable and legally exportable salvaged vehicles.

That notwithstanding, President Akufo-Addo has set up a meeting scheduled to take place next Monday to iron out their differences.

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