Business Activities Pick Up In Tamale

Business has started picking up once again in the central business district of the Tamale metropolis after a break for the Christmas festivities. A visit to the area saw traders displaying their wares, while shops opened to enable people to buy to celebrate the new year festivities. Those who are cashing in on the occasion are traders in vegetables, foodstuffs, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and livestock dealers. Some traders and shop owners who spoke to this reporter said they were expecting an increase in sales. Most of the traders said 2014 had been a very challenging one for them as they did not experience increases in sales as a result of the difficult economic conditions that prevailed in the country. They, however, expressed the hope that the financial difficulties experienced by Ghanaians in 2014 would ease in 2015. Expectations of business community in 2015 A trader at the Tamale Central Market who gave her name only as Sadia said 2014 had been a very difficult one and expressed the hope that 2015 would see a reduction in fuel prices and utilities in order to bring the cost of living down to enable people to save and buy for businesses to pick up again. Madam Lizzy, the owner of a supermarket located in the heart of the central business district area, said it was her expectation that the cost of doing business would reduce in 2015, especially the cost of borrowing. She also expressed the hope that the banks would come out with innovative products to assist small scale businesses to grow and expand to generate employment and contribute to the growth of the national economy. Mohammed Abdul Rahman, a hardware dealer, called for reduction in the various taxes imposed on businesses in 2015 to create space for businesses to grow and urged the government to find more innovative ways of generating revenue rather than imposing high taxes on businesses. He called on the government to also bring down the cost of doing business in the country to create an enabling environment for businesses to grow and expand to create jobs for the youth. Hajia Aisha, a dealer in textiles, shoes, clothing and jewellery, for her part stated that 2014 was generally difficult for businesses due to the difficult economic conditions that prevailed in the country and said she hoped that the situation would ease in 2015. Baba Iddi, a taxi driver, called for a reduction in the prices of petroleum products, especially petrol and diesel since the price of crude oil on the world market had fallen. He noted that when prices of fuel were increased, it automatically affected all aspects of economic lives and urged the government to do something about the fuel prices to reduce the cost of living. Some workers said it was their expectation that their conditions of service and salaries would be improved to correspond with the rising cost of living to enable them to save towards the future. Abdul Fatau, a resident of Nyohini, a suburb of the Tamale Metropolis, said it was his expectation that the economy would improve to ease the harsh economic conditions in the country. He stated that it was his wish that fuel prices and utilities would be reduced while the government does more to improve the living conditions of Ghanaians. At the time of filing this report, the National Petroleum Authority had reduced the prices of fuel products by 10 per cent.