A number of local businesses could fold up by the end of the year if the issue of the Nigeria border closure is not resolved immediately.
According to the Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), local businesses in the Ashanti Region, in particular, were losing about $3 million a week with the threat of a possible shutdown.
This came to light following a tour of some selected companies by officials of the chamber to gauge the mood, assess performance and strategise for the way forward.
Among the companies a team from the GCCI visited were Angel Group of Companies, Uni-Jay Fashion and Asamoa Yamoa Farms, all in Kumasi.
The National President of the Chamber, Nana Apiagyei Dankawoso I, who led the team on the tour, commended business owners for their resilience in the face of the challenge.
He gave an assurance that the border would possibly be reopened this week to allow passage of goods from Ghana as well as boost business between the two countries.
While waiting for that to materialise, however, Nana Dankawoso urged businesses to leverage technology and explore new opportunities and destinations beyond Nigeria in order to remain relevant.
He said since the government employed just six per cent of the country’s workforce, the private sector ought to be supported to enable it to employ more people, else the problem with unemployment could exacerbate.
Nana Dankawoso commended Asamoah Yamoah Farms, producers of poultry, for winning a contract to supply 70,000 kilos of chicken to KFC, despite the challenge.
The company was recently certified by the American government and other world bodies of meeting approved standards to do business worldwide.
The President of GCCI said the achievement of Asamoah Yamoah Farms was in agreement with the move by the government to build the capacity of local poultry farmers, as well as support and position them strategically to end the importation of frozen chicken in the next three to four years.
“Banning the importation of chicken now will be disastrous because local producers cannot meet the demand,” he said.
The CEO of Asamoah Yamoah Farms, Mr Joseph Asamoa Ntim, said paying attention to coaching, mentoring and training had been key to his success.
At the Angel Group of Companies, the CEO, Mr Kwaku Oteng, announced that consultants for his company were working with the US government to get a factory established in Virginia to produce Adonko Bitters.
He said following the international recognition that alcoholic beverages from his company were receiving, a similar move was in the pipeline to establish in Germany.
Mr Oteng further announced that the company was in the process of introducing soft drinks onto the market, six of which will be ready by Easter next year.
At Uni-Jay Fashion, a garment manufacturing company, Nana Dankawoso said the chamber had put in place measures to help the company to access support from the Ghana Exim Bank for expansion to meet the growing demand.
The chamber conferred on Mr Kwaku Oteng, Mr Asamoah Ntim and Mrs Janet Abobigu, owner of Uni-Jay Fashion, honorary membership for exhibiting extraordinary and exemplary leadership roles in industry.