Depoliticise business operations in Ghana – Haruna Iddrisu
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, has stressed the need for all to depoliticise the running of businesses in the country.
According to him, the politicisation of businesses is not creating the environment for business owners to realise their full potential. He has, therefore, asked that the practice should seize forthwith.
Mr Iddrisu made the call when he inaugurated an inter-ministerial committee in Accra at the weekend to, among other things, see to the growth of businesses to impact Ghanaian exports.
The committee has the minister as a chairman and Mrs Emma Mitchell, a former Minister of State in the Rawlings regime, as the co-chairperson.
Other members of the committee are Mr Edwin Nii Lantey Vanderpuije, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry (MOTI); Nii Ansa-Adjaye, MOTI; Nana Owusu Afari, President of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI); Mr Seth Adjei-Baah, President of the Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), and Mr Seth Evans Addo, a private business man.
The rest are Mr Tony Sikpa of the Federation of Association of Ghanaian Exporters, Mr Lawrence Yankey, a private businessman, and Mrs Dedda W. Agyei of the MOTI. Other members to join will be from the Private Enterprises Foundation (PEF), among others.
Mr Iddrisu said the country had grown in all facets and businesses must be able to operate freely, irrespective of the government in power.
The observation of the minister comes at a time when many businesses in the country have been tagged with party colours, thereby making them unable to operate when the party to which they are tagged is not in power.
There are also instances where business owners deliberately show up on political platforms of the parties they belong to openly declare support and allegiance to them while condemning the other parties.
Some are also known to be key party financiers who do so openly without regard for the consequences.
“There should be no National Democratic Congress (NDC), New Patriotic Party (NPP) or any other party businesses because it is hurting our progress,” Mr Iddrisu said.
Against this background, he said the government had vowed to ensure a level playing field for all businesses, irrespective of their political affiliation, to strive by expanding to produce more and also to create many more employment avenues to absorb the unemployed.
The minister also noted that the government had committed itself to used the Export Development Agricultural and Industrial Fund (EDAIF) to accelerate the growth of the non-traditional export sub-sector.
The move is to enable it to play a more meaningful role in the expansion of the economy.
EDAIF, Mr Iddrisu also noted, was intended to give the needed support to the manufacturing sector and to expand the resource envelope. He added that such a move would consider all players without any political considerations; it will be purely on merit.
He said a committee had been set up to review the EDAIF law and noted that the final report would inform the government on optimal capitalisation and utilisation of the fund, especially to provide support for the growth of the non-traditional export sector.
“It is also to help enhance foreign exchange generation through exports, support the growth and development of identifiable manufacturing companies with growth potential for targeted, specialised incentives and support as part of the industrialisation drive,” he added.
By Charles Benoni Okine/Daily Graphic/Ghana