There is currently a growing disquiet among frozen food importers in the country over plans by some individuals with links within the corridors of power to monopolize food importation into the country.
Members of the association, who are not happy about the latest development, have threatened to hit the streets in protest if the process is not halted as it a recipe for chaos with collusion with Ghana Revenue Authority .
They indicate that this will not only push them out of business, but will further burden them in view of the fact that they will be required to pay more if the desire to remain relevant in the industry.
Some companies they including White stone frozen foods limited and M&JEES Company are charged lower values by the Custom Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) as compared to higher the charges slapped on other competitors within the same sector.
It has been alleged that the companies; White stone frozen foods limitedand M&JEES Company which are owned by a member in government who also serves as one of the board members of GPHA is been charged between $0.60 to 0.64 cents as a customs value per kilogram on a Frozen Chicken Leg Quarters and a chicken back goes between $0.35 to 0.38 dollar cents that is brought into the country as compared to its competitors been charged $0.90 cents to $1 dollar and $0.7 to 0.80 dollar cent per kilogram respectively on the same frozen items.
This they observed is a total rip off and cautioned that CEPS should be fair in its dealings with them.
“How can we all be in one industry but someone is paying less for the cost of the same products we pay higher for as duties”, one of them asked.
With the differentials in charges by the GRA customs division at the port, most importers of poultry and other frozen meats are unable to clear their goods giving only White Stone Frozen Foods Limited and its sister companies the upper hand of clearing their goods as a result of the lower charges preferred them.
It is becoming increasingly clear that those companies who are direct competitors are been chased out of business due to the influence of this powerful Council of State and a Board member of Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA).
Sources further alleged that this Council of State member popularly known as LABIANCA’ has supported the almighty NPP through the first lady with a whopping 2million US dollars that may have necessitated these charging differentials by customs officials at the Port.
Some customs officials are also alleged to be on the payroll of this powerful Council of State member.
As per investigation, the reason for including these officers on her payroll is to instigate or set them against her competitors by frustrating them through unnecessary tagging of their consignments which also affect them adversely because as a result of this tagging and examination officers nagging, with
Such importers end up paying unnecessary port electricity charges, further rent and further demurrage charges.