The Automobile Dealers Union of Ghana is set to protest against the government’s plan to ban the importation of overage and salvage vehicles.
Majority Leader of Parliament, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu recently announced a proposal to pass a bill that will ban the importation of these cars so as to reduce accidents.
Responding to this announcement at a media encounter, President of the Automobile Dealers Union of Ghana, Eric Kwaku Boateng, said a ban contravenes sections of the automobile policy which gives room for 10-year old vehicles and salvage vehicles.
“What Kyei Mensah Bonsu stated contradicts the agreement car dealers have had with the Trade Ministry ahead of the establishment of the Car Assembly Plants. Any decision to ban salvage and overage cars will adversely affect the entire value chain of car dealership in Ghana,” he stated.
Greater Accra Chairman of the Union, Eddie Kusi Ankumah believes the proposed ban on the importation of these vehicles is a ploy by the government to grant foreign car companies “a free market to determine market prices and dictate the business at the detriment of indigenous car dealers.” He believes the move says a lot about the approach government has for local businesses.
However, the Trade Minister responding to these concerns explained that “although there are moves to regulate second-hand cars importation, the ban will rather be put on overage cars.”
He noted that there is already a law banning the importation of overage vehicles and the proposed legislation is rather aimed at weeding out to sanitize the country’s transport system.
Many have argued that banning of used vehicles will curtail the economic ventures of importers, salespersons and all those who make a living on the importation of used cars.
Experts say allowing overage vehicles into the country is like a double-edged sword on the throat of Ghanaians because the impact of climate change resulting from carbon emissions from these vehicles completely outweighs the benefits.
Ghana has opened doors for automobile companies to set up their operations in the country. In 2018, German car-maker Volkswagen announced plans to set up a plant in Ghana as it continues to expand across Africa.