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Workers lay off as ban on scrap metal export have a toll on dealers

Government’s decision to ban export of scrap has begun biting, as dealers at Dagomba Line in Kumasi lay off dozens of workers.
Scrap dealers at the hub which inhabits about 10,000 merchants say business has been poor since the ban came into effect.
Joy News’ Joseph Opoku Gakpo who visited the area reports most of the artisans there have migrated from the northern part of the country to the area in Kumasi to engage in scrap dealing, hence the name, Dagomba Line. They work and live there.
Parliament in March this year passed the Scrap Metal Bill to make the export of scrap illegal.
Government says the move is to ensure scrap materials are available for the local steel industry.
But the scrap dealers are complaining they are not getting market for their goods locally.
A shop owner, Abdallah Alhassan said at the beginning of the year, he had more than 50 employees. Now, only 35 are left; a combination of layoffs as a result of hard market times, and his inability to pay their salaries.
He laments they are forced to return most of the scrap they convey from Kumasi to Accra for sale, because the local buyers don’t have the capacity to buy them all.
The problem cuts across. For some of the artisans, they fear the continuous decline of the business threatens their future. They fear social vices in the community would increase, if nothing is done about the situation.
Alhassan said: “If the ban remains, a lot of them would be unemployed, and some of them would go into armed robbery and all of that.”
Government has indicated it is taking steps to ease the ban, including reviewing the law.
Source: Joyfmonline

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