Dr Alex Somuah Obeng, Kwahu West Municipal Chief Executive, has attributed the high unemployment rate in the country to piracy of nation industrial products, especially textiles.
He said, the country’s textiles factory which employed over 4,000 workers in the 1970’s, now employed about 700 workers, due to piracy of their products from China, India and the Far East which are smuggled into the country and sold cheaper than those produced by the country’s textile industries.
Dr Obeng made the observation when he addressed textile dealers at a sensitization meeting dubbed, “ National crusade against trade in pirated Ghanaian textile,” at Nkawkaw, organized by the Ministry of Trade and Industry(MOTI), and the Kwahu West Municipal Assembly.
He said, it was some Ghanaians who connived with foreigners to pirate Ghanaian textiles and other manufactured products, which have affected production in the country.
The Municipal Chief Executive noted that with the country’s increasing population, the textile industry would have increased production to employ more workers to reduce unemployment rate in the country.
He, therefore, advised textiles traders in the area not only to be vigilant and avoid trading in pirated textiles, but to also co-operate with the task force on pirated textiles, to sustain the country’s textiles industry.
A custom official, Alhaji Sule Abbullai, said pirated items were illegal and should be confiscated and destroyed since they were concealed at various apartments of vehicles and smuggled into the country through unapproved routes.
He advised traders to be vigilant to know the difference between genuine Ghanaian and pirated textiles, as members of the task force will confiscate pirated textiles and destroy them.
Mr John Amoah, representing the local textile manufacturing sector, said government has not banned the importation and trading in imported textiles, but was against the importation of pirated ones which affected the country’s economic and employment generation .
A representative of the textiles importers, Mr Joseph Tetteh, advised importers to ensure the proper registration of their companies, and to pay the appropriate duties on all imported textiles.
He also advised them to guard against over-invoicing and under-invoicing in the course of their operations.
The traders appealed to government to reduce taxes on locally produced textiles, for their prices to make them competitive, since imported textiles are cheaper.