The Progressive Scraps Dealers Association of Ghana (PROSDAG), an association of scraps dealers based in Kumasi, has appealed to the government and the Ministry of Trade and Industry to as a matter of urgency, lift the ban on scraps export, to make the industry more competitive.
The association had also called on the government to intervene to ensure mutual respect in the trade relations between them and steel companies in order to help find solutions to all the nagging issues affecting the industry to enable scrap dealers to play their rightful role in national development.
These were contained in a petition addressed to the Minister of Trade and Industry and read at a press conference in Kumasi on Tuesday, by Mr Nasiru Mohammed, Secretary of the Association.
According to him, the scraps dealership industry was the fulcrum and the bedrock of the steel industry in Ghana.
However, while the steel industry in the country, which was fed by the scraps dealership was globally competitive, in terms of pricing regime and export, pricing of scraps and the decision to buy or withhold purchases of scraps and payments, were solely the decision of steel companies.
Additionally, imposition of taxes on the steel industry by the government was virtually offloaded to the tottering scraps industry by consistently reducing the prices they pay for scraps whilst steel products are well-priced.
Again, after transporting the scraps to the steel companies in Tema with huge cost and risk, there was no guarantee and certainty of what pricing would be and whether it would be bought or not.
Mr Mohammed pointed out that the current trade regime and arrangement had no regard for the scraps dealers.
These challenges, according to him, had been exacerbated by the ban placed on export of scraps by the government.
He said members of the association did not understand why government would restrict the trade space of scraps dealership, while at the same time encouraging exports of steel products in order to improve the country's foreign exchange.
Mr Mohammed said the petition was to implore government to finally come out with policy decisions that would bring mutual respect between scraps dealers and steel companies in terms of competitive prices to enable scraps dealers to play their rightful role, especially in tax payments and employment creation in the country.