Flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), has responded positively to agitations by spare parts dealers in Abossey Okai and Komkompe in Accra as well as the Suame Magazine in the Ashanti Region.
Mr. John Dramani Mahama, promised to withdraw the law banning the importation of salvaged vehicles into the country should he be voted into office this December.
According to him, his next government will also scrap the proposed increment in the import duty for such vehicles passed by the Akufo-Addo government in his bid to attract vehicle manufacturing companies into the country.
The announcement is expected to spark wild jubilations among traders in these major markets which have several years been the hub of every vehicle parts in Ghana.
The Customs Amendment Act 2020 among other things, provides incentives for major automobile manufacturers and assemblers registered under the Ghana Automotive Manufacturers Programme and prohibits the importation of salvaged motor vehicles and cars over ten years of age into the country.
But highlighting portions of the party's manifesto on Monday, September 7, 2020, at the University of Professional Studies in Accra, however, Mr. Mahama indicated that the withdrawal of the amendment act is to protect the local automatic industry from collapsing.
"We will review the Customs Amendment Act 2020 (Act 1014) to scrap the law banning the importation of salvage vehicles and the proposed implementation of a 35 per cent import duty rate. We are going to scrap it in order that salvaged cars are not banned and top duty rate government intends to impose on these vehicles does not happen. This is to safeguard the local automobile industry so that our people in Suame Magazine, Abossey Okai, Komkompe to continue to work to earn a decent living."
Since the law was announced, car and spare parts dealers, clearing agents, and artisans have put pressure on the government of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to reverse the decision but nothing has happened.
The ban and the taxes been opposed by the Minority National Democratic Congress (NDC) in Parliament as well as vehicle dealers across the country, but the Majority side approved of it and got it passed in March, this year and expected to be rolled out in November 2020.
The Minority side has insisted the new law is counterproductive and will lead to more job losses than new employment, hence it must be withdrawn.
Ex-President Mahama, agreed with his side in Parliament saying the withdrawal will indeed, ensure Ghanaians, whose livelihoods depend on that sector of the economy, continue to enjoy decent lives and revenues.
But the government's defence is for Ghanaians to focus on the revenue generation that the Customs Amendment Bill will bring rather than the losses it will incur.
The benefits it says largely outweigh the losses as the amendment will boost the Ghana Automotive Manufacturing Programme which has so far gotten some car assembling plants expressing interest in coming into Ghana.
But the argument against government's claim has been about affordability of such new cars by the ordinary Ghanaian while the traders have complained about the job losses.
Mr Mahama, also promised the Upper East Region a domestic airport should he win the elections since a land secured for construction before he exited office in January 2017.
"We will construct a domestic airport in the Upper East region. The land was secured when I was President and so we will continue with it", he said.
The former President also announced that the Kumasi Airport will also be upgraded to receive bigger aircraft.
To realise Ghana's vision to become the aviation hub of West Africa, the next NDC government has promised to also do the following: will immediately stop all plans by the failed Akufo-Addo Government to sell off the Kotoka International Airport.
The NDC government he said will also "continue our vision to fully operationalise the Kumasi and Tamale International Airports and "upgrade the Takoradi and Sunyani airports".
He promised to "review the institutional and legal framework to ensure airport lands are reserved solelyfor aviation purposes while partnering "with the private sector to establish a national airline".