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The Member of Parliament (MP) for Kpando, Della Sowah, has said the intended ban on the importation of second-hand vehicles in the country will affect local business people who deal in such cars.

The lawmaker has thus urged her fellow MPs to oppose the ban.

The government made the announcement recently and a bill to that effect was to be tabled before the house.

Explaining the purpose of the bill, Majority Leader of Parliament, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, said: “The Customs Amendment Bill, I’m just giving you what these bills are meant to achieve, you will know that prior to the economic environment that we have now, it is almost good to mention the political stability that we have as a country.

 The sojourning of the President is yielding positive results in the sense we have many auto manufacturing companies that want to come and begin assembling automobile in the country…Nissan has given indication, Toyota has given indication and Sino truck has given indication and also from France, Rhino; and if they want to come, we need to clean up the environment”.

He added that: “You cannot have them to come and begin the production of new vehicles when you allow unfettered importation of second-hand vehicles. So, we have to regulate the importation of second-hand vehicles.”

According to him, the law will be amended to ban the importation of vehicles older than 10 years as well as prevent the importation of salvaged vehicles (accidents vehicles) that flood the market.

This, he believes, will reduce the numerous carnages on the roads.

“We will suggest to ourselves, once the vehicle assembly plants are rolling out, we may give ourselves a period of about six mounts and we say that six months after they start production, then the law could be activated. Of course, the second-hand imported vehicles are also very expensive”, the Suame MP said.

He was hopeful that brand-new vehicles will sell at cheaper prices, say US$10,000 and thereby encourage many Ghanaians to buy them.

The expected ban of old vehicles may also throw some second-hand vehicle dealers out of business.

However, speaking at a town hall meeting for mechanics and drivers at Kpando on Saturday, 29 February 2020, Della Sowah noted that the sale of second-hand cars provides jobs for auto dealers and mechanics.

“When the salvaged cars come, it gives jobs to the mechanics – they have to fix it, so, at least, they also, quarterly, monthly or half-yearly, are doing some maintenance and getting money. Now all that will go.

 Then also, the spare parts dealers, I mean brand new cars, I’m using a brand new car now, for five years what do you do? Just oil change, no major repairs, it means that the spare parts dealers also they’ll go out of business, their businesses will reduce”, she said.

The opposition MP, therefore, said she would fight the ban.

“Now they said if you want to bring a salvaged car, you should get like an authority signed note that the car is good; how many people will do that? I mean they go to auction and buy cars which are auctioned, who’s going to do that note for you? And then you have to get permission from the Standards Authority before you go and bring the car; it’s cumbersome, it will disadvantage a lot of people in my constituency.

Car dealers in Okaishie, some of them come from here, they’ll be disadvantaged. I can see the ripple effects. Look at this station, people are selling to the drivers because they’re in business.

Go to the mechanic shop, you’ll see that people are busy selling there, so, the business, it’s a ripple effect business. Now, if you’re going to give VW and other car manufacturers zero tax and then on top of it you won’t make them competitive, no more second-hand cars in the system; for me, I told them I’ll oppose the bill”, she noted.

According to her, “This bill, for me, even the majority members should oppose it. Look at constituencies like Suame, look at constituencies like Bantama, who, most of their constituents deal in these second-hand car businesses; I think not only the Minority, I think parliamentarians, in general, should oppose this bill because it will bring unnecessary hardship to our constituents.”

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