….And Commend Haruna Iddrisu
By Cecil Mensah
The members of the Concerned Scrap Dealers Association, has congratulated the President John Dramani Mahama, on his declaration by the nine-member Supreme Court Justices as the validly elected president of the 2012 election and commend the Minister for Trade and Industry for the bold initiative, he had taken to have the wholesale ban placed on the importation of scrap metals relaxed.
According to the Association, they are joining millions of Ghanaians to congratulate President John Dramani Mahama, on his affirmation by the Supreme Court that, he was the validly elected President of the 2012 general elections.
The leadership of the Association made this comments at a press conference in Accra.
Speaking on behalf of the Association, Mr. Mohammed Ali, the spokesperson said, about some weeks ago, the Steel Manufacturers Association of Ghana (SMAG) held a press conference in Tema, and called on the Minister for Trade and Industry, Haruna Iddrisu not to compromise his stands on the ban of scrap metals.
“We are by this press conference; commending the Minister for the Bill he took to Parliament to place a ban on the export of scrap metals, ostensibly to protect the local steel industries
It will surprise you to know that at the press conference held by the steel manufacturers and addressed by M.J Patel, they are now telling dealers to wash the materials before they can make payments for supplies”.
He noted that since association’s press conference at Ashaiman, the Trade Ministry has taken concrete steps towards taking a second look at the wholesale ban.
He explained that Trade Minister, Haruna Iddrisu, had held series of meetings with the leadership of the association to reconsider the decision to get Parliament to relax the law for a window of opportunities for dealers.
At one of the meetings with the Minister, “the Chairman of SMAG, was asked to name the materials that they do not need, it was upon this, that the Minister gave the directive for an amended Bill to be prepared and sent to Parliament for consideration when it reconvenes”.
He posited that since the coming into force of the Trade Ministry’s wholesale ban on the scrap metals, the local industry players have taken undue advantage of the ban to cheat scrap dealers and that they want the ban to continue so, they can perpetuate their act of giving dealers raw deals.
At their press conference, they made mention of the prices at which they buy the scraps, which they claim is in line with international prices. He said
What they failed to mention, was that, aside the fact their claim is not true, they pay after a month or two and when there was no ban they were paying cash for all materials supplied to them.
He reminded the sector Minister of the promise, he made to members at the last meeting held at the Ministry’s conference room.
He stated that the association is not against the government’s efforts of protecting the local industries that equally employs Ghanaians.
But, noted that what they want the Trade Ministry to do, is to relax the ban, to allow scrap dealers to export the materials that are rejected by the five local steel industries operating in Tema, namely; Western Steel, Ferro Fabrics, Special Steel, Tema Steel Works and Sentuo Steel.
“We want to be given the opportunity under the ban to export the following: Steel balls, ductile steel, Manganese, just to mention a few, which the local industries mainly owned by the Indians, and Jordanians do not have the capacity to melt, hence are thrown out after selecting what they want, that is ferrous metal”.
He appealed to Minister, who is considered as a listening parliamentarian, to continue to dialogue to relax the ban, and create a window of opportunity to enable scrap dealers survive in the wake of the economic hardship being experienced by all Ghanaians.
He called on the Minister to set up a monitoring team to monitor the export of scraps not needed by local steel industries to fetch foreign exchange for the economy.