Traders at Tamale central market have complained about a decline in business activities, especially among fabric sellers – particularly traders of school uniforms.
While some attributed the decline to devastating effects of COVID-19, others believe government’s decision to allocate school uniforms to certain companies to be sewn for schools caused the low patronage of uniform fabric in the market.
Also, the high cost of import duties and closure of the borders accounted for the high prices of the various fabric we sell, one trader said. Despite the low sales, the traders lamented about paying multiple taxes to the Assemblies and other government agencies, which affects their little revenue and thereby compels many to close their shops.
A visit to the fabric traders at Tamale Central Market revealed that, for instance, a yard of some specific fabric that cost about GH¢4 initially now goes for GH¢5 and GH¢7. “Before Coronavirus, we used to sell some fabrics well because schools were in full session; but now, due to the academic calendar and no money in the system, many prefer using the old uniforms while some parents also cry about lack of money in the system,” another trader lamented.
For his part, the Chairman of Tamale Central Market, Alhassan Ziblim, told the B&FT that business activities have declined drastically due to the pandemic making most traders unable to renew their store rents. He is also of the view that too many taxes by the Assembly, waste management and other government agencies also affect their businesses.