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Trade ministry apologises for not sending a full delegation to opening day of Trade Fair in Tamale



The Ministry of Trade and Industry has apologised to the people in the Savannah Ecological Zone for not sending a full delegation to the opening ceremony of the first ever international trade fair in Tamale.

What was its excuse for not showing up in full force? The ministry claims it is facing serious challenges in the trade sector and needs to find solutions to them immediately.

The international trade fair which was launched on February 25, 2016 saw only the deputy Brong Ahafo regional minister Samuel Justice Aning, the board chair of Ghana Trade Fair Company and the mayor of Tamale representing government.

This angered many who were expecting the president, John Dramani Mahama and Trade and Industry Minister, Dr Ekow Spio-Garbra and a host of other government functionaries to grace the event as advertised on both radio and television.

But the deputy minister for trade and industry, Ibrahim Mohammed Mutala who represented the sector minister at the fair on Thursday said the ministry was overwhelmed with so many issues on the opening day coupled with international assignments for the sector minister.

He mentioned the current strike declared by the various trade unions such as Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) and Food and Beverage Importers Association of Ghana, Institute of Freight Forwarders over the introduction of the Common External Tariffs (CET) as some of the reasons the ministry was not able to send a full representation, saying that the ministry is more than willing to support programs such as the fair.

The deputy trade minister who doubles as member of arliament for Nanton constituency said government cannot achieve its objectives in the trade sector without assistance from the various financial institutions in the country.

Mr Muttala who toured some of the stands at the fair express satisfaction about the event and commended organizers for the good work done.

He said the confidence repose in the SADA zone by hosting the fair in Tamale speaks volumes about the potentials of the north. The trade ministry, he said, has a policy intervention help Ghanaians who cannot get assistance from financial institutions.

Government he explained had directly intervened to help some local industries and that the pharmaceutical industry benefited from government’s assistance to boost their production. he also added that government is committed to supporting SADA and working with the international organization USAID and domestic institutions.

He mentioned the promotion of made in Ghana goods which was launched by the president. The program he said was geared at enhancing indigenous Ghanaian industries.

“What government can do was to support local industries to grow to support the economy,” the deputy minister explained. “As a member of parliament for a rural constituency, I know the challenges facing businesses in the rural areas and government is doing all it could to address those challenges.”

He also revealed that some banks had confessed to him that they did not know there was money in the north.

The Northern regional  minister Abdallah Abubakari accompanied by his counterparts  from Upper East, Albert Abongo, Alhaji Amin Suleimana of the Upper West and the Agric. minister Alhaji Mohammed-Muniru Limuna, said the country still has not utilized the agriculture potentials in the SADA zone. The region he noted has attracted the needed investment in the area but farming still remains at subsistence level.

He assured all potential investors that the regions are more than ready to collaborate and support their efforts in addressing problems in the agricultural sector.

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