Kobina Tahir Hammond

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Kobina Tahir Hammond, known to many as K. T. Hammond, has expressed feeling betrayed by the Minority in Parliament concerning the laying of a Legislative Instrument (L.I) aimed at restricting the import of certain strategic products.

During an interview with JoyNews’ Evans Mensah on Monday, November 27, Mr. Hammond revealed that a consensus had been reached with the Minority for the laying of the L.I., which sought to impose restrictions on the importation of 22 products.

Mr. Hammond stated that in a meeting chaired by Dominic Ayine, concerns were raised by the Minority regarding specific items on the L.I. However, after addressing those concerns, he claims they were content with the proposed changes.

Reading from the Committee’s report, Mr. Hammond indicated that the Committee concluded that the draft regulations were within the constitutional parameters.

He expressed frustration at the Minority Leader’s subsequent opposition, describing it as ‘duplicity’ and feeling betrayed.

When asked if he felt stabbed in the back, Mr. Hammond affirmed that he did.

He acknowledged that according to parliamentary procedures, he was not required to pre-lay the L.I., as it had already been through the parliamentary process.

Despite this, he chose to proceed but expressed his disagreement with the process.

Mr. Hammond also mentioned that he had sought redress in the High Court, emphasizing that Parliament doesn’t sit in an adjudicative capacity.

In a related development, six business associations, collectively known as the Joint Business Consultative Forum, including the Ghana Union of Traders Associations (GUTA) and the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI), have submitted a petition urging Parliament to reject the import restrictions bill proposed by the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

The associations argue that the bill, if enacted, could have adverse effects on their businesses, impacting prices and disrupting the free flow of goods.

The Minority has opposed the regulation three times, citing concerns about the excessive power it grants to the Minister for Trade.