H.E. President John Evans Atta Mills
President John Evans Atta Mills yesterday said Ghana cannot poise to be prospering and doing well if Ghanaians are not at the forefront of nation's economic emancipation, saying government ought to pay special attention in building the capacity of local contractors.
'The local contractors are the people who are going to provide jobs for the people and contribute revenue, which will enable the government to provide the needed social investment,' he noted.
President Mills was addressing the launch of a Capacity Building for Local Contractors organised by J A Plant Pool Limited in Accra.
J A Plant Pool is a leading supplier of heavy duty and earth-moving equipment that represents major companies in China and India.
Prof Atta Mills observed that 20 years ago, most contractors in the country were from the local industry. 'If Ghanaian politicians can rise to the top, I don't see the reason why Ghanaian contractors cannot rise to the top and compete with the foreign contracting firms', he added.
He explained that local contractors stand no chance of competing with foreign contracting firms, because Ghana has not fully invested in them, and that 'we have to insist that a portion of the local contracts is reserved for them,' he said.
The role of the local contractor, the President noted, in the achievement of government objective is very important and it is for this reason that local road construction industry must be developed and supported by all stakeholders to ensure the industry and its players are placed in a position to deliver on projects that are awarded it.
The President said the dominance and pervasiveness of road transport in the movement of goods and services and people in this country, no doubt underscore the justification for the state's investment in the provision of road infrastructure.
President Mills said government considers the capacity building programme for local contractors as timely. Saying it will in no doubt enhance equipment holding of local contractors which will enable them perform effectively.
He also appealed to the local contractors to pay attention to the quality and safety of jobs they execute for the safety of the people.
The President was delighted that the package put together is for the private industries. He therefore assured J.A. Plant Pool Limited that the confidence the company has reposed in the local contractors will not come to nought. He hoped other companies will emulate this modest part they have played in the nation's development.
In his welcome address, Mr Isaac Krampah, said the company has had fruitful collaborations with the Ministry of Roads and Highways. Through the collaboration, 250 large buses and heavy-duty and earth-moving equipment have been imported into the country. This is expected to ease the difficult transportation situation in the country and enhance the capacity of local contractors to execute first class projects and deliver value.
'In our efforts to reach a higher goals, have concluded a memorandum of understanding with Chinese partners to set up assembling plants in Ghana.' He hoped this will contribute to the government's objective of job creation, reduce the cost of these equipments in Ghana and provide the needed platform to launch into the sub-regional market.