Ho, Jan. 21, GNA - Mr Theophilus Gadzanku, the Executive Chairman, Environmental Development Group International (EDG), a group of consultants and infrastructure engineers, has called on Municipal and District Assemblies in the Volta Region to patronize locally produced goods to grow indigenous industries.
He said the Assemblies’ crave and over reliance on goods and services outside the Region accounted for the slow growth of local industries and the collapse of light industry companies.
Mr Gadzanku said this when executives of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) in the Volta Region visited Gad Furniture Limited in Ho, a subsidiary of EDG and producers of institutional furniture and building components.
He said the lack of commitment to local businesses has killed the interest of young people in acquiring technical and vocational skills, with many going into “buy and sell” despite high demand for artisans.
Mr Gadzanku said consequently, the Light Industrial Area in Ho has virtually become a white elephant with churches taking over the pavilions.
He said Gad Furniture, the only existing company at the Industrial Area, was operating below capacity since 2012 because it was not getting jobs and employed only five persons instead of 150 to run two shifts.
Mr Gadzanku said the company could produce 500 high international quality standard doors in a day but currently producing just a few.
He said in view of the huge investment in equipment and infrastructure, the company was organizing periodic training for master craftsmen and in talks with the Ho Technical University and some technical institutes for hands-on training.
Mr Gadzanku said the company needed 500,000 dollars to expand and produce at full capacity and export as it used to do some three decades ago and called for support.
He said strategically located with ultramodern machinery including dust extractors and saw dust silos, the company could provide institutional furniture for the Assemblies, offices and schools at moderate cost.
The Regional GJA Executives also visited Sokode Biscuit Factory, near Ho, where the 90-year-old owner, Madam Akosua Awudey said the company, the only indigenous biscuit factory in the country in the 1960s folded up 12 years ago due to importation of foreign biscuits.
She said her company produced biscuits for the then Ghana House, senior high schools and the military for peacekeeping operations among others.
Mr Dickson McBillions, who is managing the company for the nonagenarian, said the factory needed about GH¢ 200, 000.00 for industrial ovens, baking machines and to expand the facility to meet increasing demands.
He said currently, they were only producing on request, especially for marriage and other merry making ceremonies.
The facility tours by the Regional GJA executives were part of efforts at reviving distress but viable local industries in the Region.
The Association will engage the Regional Minister, the Association of Ghana Industries and other stakeholders on how to help reposition the industries to create jobs and grow the local economy.
The Executives also visited Volta Star Textiles Ghana Limited at Juapong and Akuley Shoe Factory at Kpando.