Hundreds of Ghanaians are to lose their jobs if nothing is done to prevent the collapse of the only surviving local insecticide manufacturing company in the country, Beatex Enterprise Ghana Limited.
The company, which currently has 200 direct and 10,000 indirect employees nationwide, ranging from wholesalers, retailers, distribution van drivers, rural youth in the production of local raw materials, among others, will soon fold up.
The iminent collapse of Beatex can be attributed to disparities in duties between the local insecticide manufacturing industry and importers of mosquito coil.
While importers of the product are charged $8.1 per carton of coil, local manufacturers are charged $14.3.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic in Accra, the Chairman of Beatex Enterprise, Mr Edmund Akoto- Bamfo, said five out of the six insecticide manufacturing companies in the country had already folded up, making his company the only survivor.
He named the already collapsed local insecticide companies as Miaco, Sunfront, Eagle, Antelope and Care, situated at Tema Community 7 and 9, the Spintex Road and Achimota, respectively.
Disparities in duty payment
According to him, the duty paid on his company’s products, which consist of eight brands, with the Lord Brand Mosquito Coil as the flagship, was a 100 per cent higher than that paid on imported coils.
He revealed that Beatex was, consequently, unable to sell its products, since the imported ones were cheaper as a result of the lower duty paid on them.
He expressed fear that the situation would soon lead to the closure of the factory, which would in turn lead to thousands of job losses.
He added that in trying to save the situation, the company decided to find out the cause of the low patronage of its products.
Mr Akoto-Bamfo revealed that after investigations, it came to light that all the 15 importers of mosquito coils into the country were charged $8.1 per carton of the product, compared to the $14.3 duty charged on a carton of the product produced locally.
Call for even playing field
He, therefore, called for an even playing field where both local manufacturers and importers would be made to pay the same duty on competitive products.
He was of the view that all local industries in the country would fold up if foreign companies were given preferential treatment over the indigenous ones, adding that importers were not helping the local economy.
Touching on the contribution of the company to the development of the country, Mr Akoto-Bamfo said by producing for the local market, the country would not need foreign exchange to import mosquito repellents each month to meet local demand.
He added that Beatex had the potential to export 20 per cent of its products if it was given a level playing field, saying that would translate into foreign exchange earning on a yearly basis.