Lift ban on importation of used fridges or we demonstrate—Second-hand fridge sellers
Second hand fridge sellers in Kumasi have threatened to stage demonstration if government fails to lift ban on the importation of second hand refrigerators.
They gave government two weeks ultimatum to rescind on its decision.
Speaking in a media interview, Secretary of the Ghana Association of Importers and Sellers of Used Fridges (GAISUR), Henry Boadi said they have been jobless after the ban was placed on the importation of second-hand refrigerators by the government.
He said the act had seen hikes in the prices of fridges, saying “now table top is about Ghc600 to Ghc700 while it was Ghc150 to Ghc200 when they were importing them.”
They bemoaned that the hikes in fridge prices have dwindled sales and were not making ends meet from the job they are doing, hence the call on government.
One of the aggrieved sellers explained that the government promised to build a Refrigeration Assembly Plant to enable Ghanaians to manufacture their own fridges but failed to honour the promise.
“We are pleading with the government to lift the ban on importation of second hand fridges since it did not build the assembly plant. Now people are not buying the fridge even we can’t sell motor of fridge due to its price,” he said.
Another seller called on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to sit up otherwise they would lose their jobs.
“If we don’t take care we will lose our job and we will spit blood in the country, Nana sit up and act fast to save us and our family,” he added.
In 2008, a ban was placed on the importation of second-hand refrigerators to help reduce wasting the national grid due to the high consumption levels of those products that had expired and were meant to be recycled in their countries of origin but are imported into the country for sale.
However, due to pleas by the dealers that they had already imported goods before the ban and that they needed time to sell off their goods, then President John Agyekum Kufuor gave a two-year grace period.
After the grace period, in 2010, the newly elected President John Evans Atta Mills also gave a two-year grace period on the request of the dealers, which ended in 2012, by which time Mr John Dramani Mahama had taken over as President following the demise of his predecessor.
The dealers made a similar request in 2012, but President Mahama granted them six months because they had enjoyed four years of grace period already, which made the ban come into full force in 2013.
Many old fridges, according to energy expect contain chemicals called Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) which damage the Earth’s ozone layer.
Although these are already banned or being phased out, they are thought to be commonly used in Africa.
Energy commission head Alfred Ofosu-Ahenkora said the second-hand refrigerators are harming the country as they were not built for use in Africa and so consume too much electricity.