We all recall with sadness how in the Rawlings era, people like Kwamena Ahwoi used tax laws to collapse indigenous Ghanaian businesses such as Tata Brewery, International Tobacco. And how people like Boakye Mattress and others were victimized. Some even died as paupers and this is public knowledge.
Rawlings went after Dr. Safo Adu, Appiah-Menka, and others and their businesses never recovered. There is no point going through the number of Ghanaian businesses destroyed under the Rawlings regime.
This explains why there are not many businesses in Ghana, which is accounting for the high youth unemployment rate in the country. It is easier to destroy than to build.
It’s on record that John Agyekum Kufuor supported many Ghanaian businesses by introducing AGOA. John Atta Mills also protected indigenous businesses; to the extent that he even spared Ken Ofori-Atta’s Databank from the Obotan allegations. John Mahama allowed local businesses to flourish, despite the unsubstantiated allegations of corruption under his administration.
Now what do we see today? Nana Akufo-Addo and his kinsman Ken Ofori-Atta are repeating what Rawlings and Ahwoi did in the past. What is the motivation and appetite for collapsing indigenous Ghanaian businesses in the name of financial reform to benefit their friends, family and foreigners?
Is this the change Ghanaians voted for? We need to understand that it will take years for the next administration to rebuild the confidence of Ghanaian entrepreneurs, particularly in the Financial sector.
If government exists to protect the citizenry, then treating Ghanaian business owners fairly and with civility should not be a bad thing for any government that recognizes that power emanates from the people.