Designated Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Marfo has neglected indigenous automobile companies in the country to sign Memorandum of Understanding between two foreign automobile companies to establish its assembling plant for production slated October 2018.
The Senior Minister of the current government made this revelation in a forum held on the 31st July 2018 at the Labadi Beach Hotel. The theme for the event was dubbed “Unlocking Economic Growth through Manufacturing”.
The aim of the forum was to draw the attention to the manufacturing sub sector whose fortune have dwindled consistently over the past eleven years.
The minister in his speech made it known that, two international automobile companies are expected to set up an assembling plant in the country in October 2018. According to the Yaw Osafo Marfo, MoUs of the two companies have been submitted to the government and already approved two months ago.
In the MoUs submitted by the two international automobile companies to the government, there is a clause which states that, “the government would buy certain amount of cars from these two companies when they commence operations later on”.
The Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Marfo continued that the government had fast-tracked the approval of the agreement to expedite the setting up of the automobile plants by the two international companies.
This move by the government has SHOCKED the Chairman, CEO and Management of the local manufacucturer, Kantanka Automobile. In a press briefing by the CEO of the company, Kwadwo Safo Jnr and the General Manager, Mr. Francis Kwadwo Kujoji, have expressed their deepest regrets over this matter and decision taken by the current government.
“When has the government fast-tracked any proposal that we have submitted to them”? exclaimed Mr. Kujoji, the General Manager of Kantanka Automobile. In a petition for a waiver submitted to the Vice President, Kantanka Automobile stated that the government should patronize some of their vehicles, but the government had not done that, Mr Kujoji pointed out.
The General Manager further stated that “How could government give that privilege to a foreign company without considering the local manufacturers first”?
He also made it clear that the issue was not a matter of competition and that critics did not understand the game in the industry. He stated that “competition should be on international front not on the local market and that you have develop the local market first before moving to international market.
He further stated that, “you don’t have to invite international players to local market and this is where the Senior Minister got it all wrong”. He cited an example that “let’s invite Harvard to establish a university at Okponglo and offer the same academic programs as in University of Ghana, KNUST, UCC, etc with students paying the same fees as well as government offering free hostels to Harvard students. In such a situation, Legon will close down the following year, he exclaimed!
Below is a video of the Press Briefing with the CEO and General Manager of Kantanka Automobile Company.