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31.10.2008 Business & Finance

National Association of Garages to set up awards scheme

By GNA

An awards scheme is in the offing for members of the Ghana National Association of Garages (GNAG).

The association comprises auto-mechanics, auto electrical technicians, auto-welders and motorbike mechanics.

Mr Joseph Nimo, GNAG National Secretary, said this in an address to the GNAG Volta Regional Delegates Conference in Ho on Thursday.

He said Shell Ghana Limited and the Ghana Automobile Dealers Association were collaborating with GNAG to start the scheme whose design and scoring criteria are being worked out.

Mr Nimo said the scheme should give recognition to mechanics in the auto industry.

He expressed regret that mechanics in many parts of the country operated from squalid encampments with hardly any support from government or other agencies in capacity or business development.

Mr Nimo wondered why Metropolitan, Municipal and District assemblies are putting up markets and lorry stations "but never a plan to construct vehicle repair centres for mechanics".

He appealed to Ghanaians to visualize what would befall the nation if auto-mechanics and allied skilled groupings drop their tools in protest.

"I can assure you that without us doctors, teachers, lawyers, farmers and their produce, ministers and even the President cannot move" Mr Nimo said.

He, however, lauded the recognition of skill training under the educational reform programme under which some Master Craftsmen would be trained to impart skills to JHS and SHS leavers.

Mr Nelson Attah, GNAG Volta Regional Chairman, wondered why certain jobs are given to their counterparts outside the region in spite of the competent mechanics in the Volta Region.

He also expressed dismay at the lukewarm attitude of local government agencies to the development needs of mechanics.

Mr Emmanuel Nyarko, Volta Regional Director of the National Board for Small-Scale Industries (NBSSI), said micro-business remained the trail blazer for any economic growth and called on GNAG to build up the technological and entrepreneurial skills of the members.

Mr Mathew Dogbevi, Director of CERAD, an international artisans support NGO with headquarters in Togo, said his group was ready to provide advocacy and business strategy skills to artisans to strengthen their businesses.

During an open forum members said they needed to be trained in the new auto technologies to enable them stay in business.

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