Former Member of Parliament for Bantama Constituency in the Ashanti Region, Henry Kwabena Kokofu
Former Member of Parliament for Bantama Constituency in the Ashanti Region, Henry Kwabena Kokofu

Executive Director of Environmental Protection Agency, Henry Kwabena Kokofu, has refuted claims that the government not supporting the growth of import and export associations in the country.

He was responding to claims by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) that the government hates the business of the import and export association in the country, hence the reversal of Benchmark value on products.

However, while speaking on Badwam on Adom TV, Mr Kokofu said the government recognizes the good works done by traders in helping to boost the country’s economy.

He clarified why the reversal of benchmark value policy by the government is needed for the betterment of the country.

According to him, the government seeks to promote industrialization and the growth of the economy and the reversal of benchmark value will ensure more growth of locally produced foods, hence creating more jobs.

Mr Kokofu said the policy is to deter the growing habit of importation, which he said adversely affects the country in terms of employment and pricing.

“The importation of goods into the country put pressure on the country’s foreign currency, retard the growth of industries 1D1F, as well as promoting unemployment in the country.

“Every one dollar import helps promote and develop another country as well as creating jobs for its people. This is why people travel out of the country for greener pastures,” he said.

He added that the genesis of the economic problems the country is facing is the importation of foods and products from other nations and not consuming its local foods.

“A country which cannot produce and consume its own product is a big problem. The beginning of our problems as a county is the importation of goods from other nations. This is why General Kutu Acheampong brought ‘Operation Feed Yourself’ which was the fundamentals.”

According to Mr. Kokofu, the importation of goods into the country have more negative impacts on the country than positives, something he believes the government, by the reversal of the benchmark value, seeks to eradicate.

The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) announced that effective January 4, the benchmark value will be reversed for some 43 selected items.

But due to further consultation, the government has since suspended the policy.