Ghana

 Protect indigenous business – Tanker Union Secretary

The Executive Secretary of the Tanker Owners Union, Ignatius Koku Doe, has called on the government to protect indigenous businesses since its collapse would spell doom for the country’s eco­nomic fortunes.

He said Ghana’s economy was to a large extent dependent on the ability of local businesses to thrive, adding that allowing such businesses to face unhealthy competi­tion would harm Ghanaians.

Tanker trucks

Mr Doe said this in an interview with the Ghanaian Times, over the weekend following an influx of tanker trucks owned by Chinese companies in the country saying that “As we speak now, the Union is being faced with a huge challenge where about 300 tanker trucks have so far been import­ed into the country,”

In most developed countries, Mr Doe said the state had put in place mechanisms to protect local businesses, considering the fact that those businesses were directly linked to the wellbeing of the local folks.

According to him, most economies were built on the backs of indigenous businesses and their ability to survive and grow, “How can our business be protected if the state would sit back and do nothing about pro­tecting the businesses of Ghanaians”.

Mr Doe noted that, the union had in­formed the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) which is the regulatory body, but no concrete step had been taken to address the problem.

According to him businesses risk col­lapse if relevant stakeholders did not take immediate action.

“We discovered these tankers have been brought in by Sentuo Refinery, which is about to start the production of oil and gas. Already, the union members own about 5,000 trucks, and bringing in new ones to do the same job as ours will only create unhealthy competition,” he lamented.

Mr Doe said there was the need for the government’s interventions to ensure Sentuo focuses on production and leaves the transportation of the products to the tanker unions.

“We are already confronted with the situation and we are confused because it is creating fear and panic,” Mr Doe said.

 BY AGNES OPOKU SARPONG