That is a five-day action meant to show their protest against the high cost of doing business in recent times due to ever-rising inflation and the free fall of the cedi against the dollar, the currency that has come to dominate import and export trade.
On Tuesday, members of the Council of State engaged with the Executive of GUTA in the hope of convincing them to abandon their plan to have the association’s members close their shops.
After that meeting, the President of GUTA, Dr. Joseph Obeng, told the media they could no longer contain the challenges and so wanted to send a hint to the government to recognise the need for urgent action to save this situation.
Earlier in Kumasi, shops had been closed from Monday to Friday, last week due to the implementation of policies concerning value Added Tax (VAT), which portended that GUTA could not be joking.
Truly, yesterday, GUTA carried out its planned protest and the Ghanaian Times monitored the situation. (Read story on page ??
During its rounds in Accra, the paper found some shops closed,
with others half-opened or completely opened.
Reports from the regions have it that no shop was closed at all as traders gave various reasons for their non-compliance with the GUTA directive.
The traders though acknowledged the challenges alluded to by GUTA, they said their economic situation would worsen if they did not sell because their trading activity was their only source of income.
Some of them added that their refusal to sell meant denying consumers their right to meeting their needs.
The refusal by some traders to obey the GUTA directive appears to be influenced by the position of the Traders Advocacy Group Ghana (TAGG) that compliance would rather worsen the plight of traders and so they should defy it.
It is too early to come to any conclusion on the GUTA directive and its compliance and so we all live to see what happens till Monday.
However, it must not be lost on the government that GUTA has made a case and it must do whatever is in its power to
salvage the situation and give the populace some hope.
The dynamics surrounding the cedi-dollar exchange rate may not be understood by the majority of the masses but they can feel the heat of the situation.
The current precarious economic situation may differ a bit from its predecessors due to the so-hyped COVID-19 and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but that must not give the government the leeway to look on while the masses suffer.
Ever-rising prices without any attempt so far by the government to control them is bad omen.
We know there are pressures from all over the place but it should not be beyond the government to step in to ameliorate the hardship in the country.
Some people are exploiting the situation to the greatest disadvantage of the masses, which must be checked.
How does anyone expect, for example, a Ghanaian worker to say “it is well” when he takes a minimum wage of GHc13.53 per day and buys waakye (rice and beans) at the least price of GHc5 plus just an egg at GHc2?
Think about it!