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100m Yards Of Textile In Ghana Are Pirated

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The Minister of Trade and Industry (MOTI), Mr Alan Kyerematen has revealed that out of 130 million yards of textile demanded by Ghanaians every year, only about 30 million yards are manufactured in Ghana.

According to him, a deficit of 100 million yards is being pirated and brought into the country through illegal ways.

He added that these counterfeit products have taken over the Ghanaian market thus affecting production of the local textile industry and scaring off investors.

“The gap beyond demand and supply is about 100 million yards per annum and that 100 million yards are not just uncustomed, they are also evading tax. Government is losing money and they are destabilising our manufacturing companies… everybody is losing,” Mr Kyerematen noted.

He said “It is for this reason that the MOTI has reconstituted a task force to deal with the challenges that have faced the textile industry for years.”

The Minister said though the task force was established in the past, the menace of pirating and illegal importation of textile products still remained.

He however assured Ghanaians that this time round, the activities of the committee will be well strategized to return the textile industry to its past glory and to strengthen it for Ghana’s industrial transformation.

Mandate of the Task Force

The 17-member Task Force was sworn into office last Wednesday to fight the backlash that the Textile industry may have seen.

According to the Deputy Minister for Trade, Mr Carlos Ahenkorah, the task force has been given the responsibility to fight the pirating of textiles into the country and they will first of all tackle the Eastern corridor of the country.

They are also expected to visit suspicious warehouses based on intelligence however, their operations will not extend to the local markets.

“This is the beginning. We don’t want the task force to expand their activities and extend it into the market because it is a gradual process. We have other measures that we are going to introduce at different times… when we introduce the other measures we will understand why we decided to start from the eastern borders,” the minister emphasised.

The Deputy Minister added that, the customs department of the task force would issue a detention note on all seized goods after which goods will be transported to a designated warehouse.

The importer would have 14 days to visit the vetting committee and task force to prove or challenge ownership of the goods.  However, failure to do this will lead to confiscation.

The Chairman for the Task Force and representative from the Customs division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, Sumani Mahamadu, assured government that they would carry out the duties assigned to them without fear and failure.

“…We are ready to take advice from government as at when it comes and we promise to be guided by the code and conducts assigned to us,” he said.

Source: Grace Ablewor Sogbey/ ksogbey@gmail.com

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