A section of GEA members at the breakfast meeting
THE INCREASING rate of fees, property rates and business operating license by the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) is collapsing businesses in both manufacturing and service industries, Ghana Employers Association (GEA) has said.
According to the GEA, the cost of doing business in the city had gone high and was taking a heavy toll on the operations of its members, which had also been exacerbated by frequent power interruption.
At a breakfast meeting in Kumasi yesterday with the Deputy Ashanti Regional Minister, Samuel Yaw Adusei, members of the Association lamented about a litany of business challenges confronting employers in the region, and called for government intervention.
They described the new increases of property rate and business operating license as arbitrarily as they, as major stakeholders, were not consulted.
‘The increase is between 1,000 and 1,500 percent depending on the category,’ Augustine Amakye Ansah of First Allied Savings and Loans intimated.
Anthony Adu-Assuming, Plant Accountant of Coca-Cola Bottling Company, said his company was expected to pay an increased percentage of 1000 over GH¢91,000 fee paid last year as property rate.
According to him, cost of operation of the plant in Kumasi had increased significantly relative to plant in Accra.
‘We will be compelled to relocate our plant in Kumasi in the face of these increases and erratic power supply,’ Edward Osei Owusu, Plant Director of Coca-Cola, warned.
William Awuku Ahiadormey, a representative of the Association of Ghana Industries, also expressed grave concern about the unreliable power supply.
‘The kind of power supply we get as manufacturers is terrible. It is not as if we do not have generators; we do, but they have become white elephants because when you finish producing, we can’t cover generator cost,’ he lamented.
He wondered why Government could simply not fix the problem once and for all, asking, ‘Why do we as a nation cut US$3.9 billion of our oil to abroad only for us to import US$3.6 billion oil into the country?’
Rev Dr Ayim Nyarko Anafo of Garden City University noted that store operating businesses were taking over the industries in Kumasi, citing land cost, operational cost and other challenges confronting the sector.
The Ashanti Regional Deputy Minister, Samuel Yaw Adusei, pledged the Regional Coordinating Council’s (RCC’s) commitment to ensure an enabling environment for businesses to thrive.
He also charged the GEA members to report to the Regional Minister their concerns for redress.
From Ernest Kofi Adu, Kumasi
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