The producers of the popular Frytol cooking oil, Wilmar Africa Limited are shutting down their Ghana plant over operational difficulties.
The company in a statement said the introduction of the benchmark policy by government-created difficulties for them as unfair competition from inferior products overwhelmed them. It said it was hoping for the reversal of the policy by the government.
“This has made it very difficult for us to sell in the local market because imported oils from Asia are selling far cheaper than our product The unit cost of our oil is high as compared to the imported ones as we have to contend with all the overheads in our cost build-up. The government’s announcement of the reversal of the duty discount on benchmark policy was welcoming news; however. Government has suspended action on this announcement”.
The statement stressed: “To make matters worse, our export market, which has been complementing our local sales, has also been hit by non-availability of vessels to transport the product to our main export market – Senegal due to the Covid situation. These compounded problems resulted in our worse sales in December 2021 and the low sales continuing into January 2022″.
Meanwhile, the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) says it has suspended the implementation of the reversal of the benchmark values indefinitely.
According to the GRA, the move is to enable further engagements with all the relevant stakeholders on the way forward.
“Following the outcome of a meeting held on Wednesday, January 12, 2022, the Customs Division of GRA has been directed to suspend the implementation of government’s policy directive on the removal or reduction of values of imports on selected items until further notice, to enable more engagements with all the relevant stakeholders,” GRA said in a statement issued on Thursday.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, last week directed the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to suspend its planned implementation of the government’s policy directive on the reversal of the reduction of values of imports on selected items, known as “benchmark values”, from 4 January 2022.
The president asked for the policy to be delayed to allow for wider consultations. It is also in order that the complaints of traders opposed to the reversal be “sufficiently considered before a decision on implementation and its timing is finally taken.”