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Haruna Iddrisu

Intelligence picked up by The Herald reveals that, despite a government ban on scrap metal dealers not to export their wares, a Tema-based Indian national was being allowed to export hundred tons of mental scrap abroad, by bribing state officials at the Tema Port, who are to enforce the unpopular ban pushed by Trade and Industry Minister, Haruna Iddrisu.

The export is happening at the time indigenous Ghanaians, are begging the Trade and Industry Minister, Haruna Iddrisu to review the law which the traders have complained to The Herald was starving the economy of foreign exchange, as well as thrown many young men unto the street jobless.

The Indian company, Memos Company Ltd is owned by one Saleem, and is located near the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR).

The Herald is informed that since the ban was slapped on the local scrap dealers, Saleem has exported over seven forty-footer containers of the scrap metals outside the country through the Tema Port, with the connivance of the state officials.

Saleem, is reported to have retorted that ?even cocaine is being exported from Ghana?, when he was reminded by some Ghanaian scrap dealers about the ban, and the fact that his conduct was illegal.

The Herald gathered Saleem, exports his scraps through a certain Freight Forwarder, by name Tony, owner of a company called TSC Ghana Limited.

Both Saleem and Tony, are said to have boasted many times about bribing port officials and some unknown government officials, by offering them money and expensive gifts, to enable them send the scrap metals abroad.

Meanwhile, The Herald is informed of another fully loaded six containers of the metal scrap at Memos Company Ltd, on its way to the Tema Port for export.

The Herald gathered that, although the ban was meant to protect the local steel industry, by preserving raw materials for them, however, since the ban, five main steel companies are unable to buy the scrap metals as they are overwhelmed with supply and have no money to purchase the goods.

The companies include Western Steel, Fero Fabrics, Special Steel, Tema Steel Works and Sentos Steel etc are unable to buy the raw materials from the scrap dealers.

When they do, they get selective with the particular metals, abandoning the rest, which cannot be exported as a result of the ban.

This paper?s information is that there are over 100 truck-loads of scrap metals scattered on the premises of some of the factories, because the companies are unable to buy, while the youth who make a living from the picking and supplying of the scrap metals, have been rendered jobless and are loitering aimlessly in the streets of the cities.

The local dealers, recently petitioned government, registering their displeasure over an outright ban on the export of scrap metals by Parliament.

The group who described themselves as Concerned Members of Scrap Dealers Association of Ghana said, ?they were dissatisfied with the decision by government to ban the export of scrap metals and as a result want a review of the law?.

The petition was signed by the group?s Chairman Sarpong, its Secretary Kamal Deen Sanni, and its Organizer Sulemana Adams.

According to the group, even though they are stakeholders in the scrap metals business, they were not consulted when the Trade and Industry Minister, Haruna Iddrisu, decided to ban their activities, and rendered them jobless, adding ?they only heard the news of the ban after the law was passed, some two months ago?.

Parliament in March this year, slapped a ban on the export of scrap metals. The new regulation, LI 2201 was aimed at ending an era, where Ghanaian steel dealers continue to be starved of raw materials, because of uncontrolled export of the scrap.

Though the law is in force, Industry players like Steel workers Union, say it will help protect the local steel industry, the association has rejected the total ban, touting the contribution their business brings to the economy of Ghana.

The Association was of the view that, besides the fact that the ban would have a major defect on the economy, they insisted, ?this industry has helped for decades to reduce the unemployment situation in Ghana.

?Over millions of people (mostly self employed with little capital), all over the country have earned a living through this industry?.

They feared that with the current ban, the number of unemployed youth will worsen, predicting an eventual collapse of the industry.

Whiles  efforts by government to ensure that local enterprises stay in business, they pleaded that the legislation that banned the exportation of scrap metals be amended to exclude cast, iron, steel balls, mining liners, ductile pipes and also lift the ban for the time been.

They pleaded that in the likely event that their recommendation to review the law is heeded to, they, as an association be involved to contribute. More to come!

Source-The Herald/Ghana

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