Business activities at the freight forwarding section of the Tema Harbour have been halted following the three-day strike by the Joint Private Business Consultative Forum.
The strike, which begun on Monday, forms part of plans by the business associations to protest the high tax regime.
It also follows what the forum calls a failure by government to heed their demands for a reduction in the various taxes imposed on the private sector, which they say are hampering their operations.
Citi News’ Tema correspondent, Elvis Washington, reports that the all too busy freight forwarding unit of the Tema Port is empty as importers are practically ‘invisible’. According to him, the freight forwarding unit used to be a very busy area with long queues of importers waiting to clear their goods.
“Hitherto if you come here, you could see a number of people here. But now you can see just about six people here, they are not even here for business but to ensure that the directive is duly complied with” he said.
He also reports that people trying to defy the directive and attempting to pay duties at the banks are equally being prevented from doing so.
One of the freight forwarders told Elvis Washington that, “Actually our top officials sent us emails over the weekend and we are aware that we are not supposed to work.”
On whether or not they have considered the impact of the three-day close down of their shops on their livelihoods, the freight forwarder told Elvis Washington their decision is in solidarity with the importers whom they (freight forwarders) serve as middlemen, “The thing is that, we want the job to move on and it is the importers who give us the job, we are middlemen .So if things are not going on well with them, how do we go on with the job?
If the thing is not working, you come and there won’t be any work or even the little that you make you cannot get anything out of it so it is better that you do not come at all.
We are asking that the government comes in so that we can all move forward,” the Freight forwarder lamented.
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