Purchase locally assembled vehicles, Akufo-Addo directs state institutions

President Akufo-Addo says the move is to demonstrate the government’s commitment to supporting made in Ghana vehicles

President Akufo-Addo has directed all state institutions to give priority to purchasing locally assembled vehicles over those imported into the country.

Currently, German car manufacturer, Volkswagen, Chinese company Sinotruk and now Japanese car maker, Toyota and Suzuki are assembling their vehicles in Ghana.

The new Toyota Tsusho vehicle assembly plant will be assembling some models of Toyota and Suzuki vehicles in the country.

Addressing attendees of the commissioning ceremony of the Toyota Tsusho vehicle assembly plant at the Tema Free Zones enclave, Monday 29 June 2021, President Akufo-Addo said “Government will continue to create the enabling environment to boost the emerging automotive industry in Ghana.

“In addition to the attractive physical and non-physical incentives offered to investors in the automotive sector, the government in promoting the patronage of locally assembled vehicles has directed all state institutions to purchase locally assembled vehicles to demonstrate government’s commitment to supporting made in Ghana vehicles,” President Akufo-Addo said.

“It is gratifying to note that already, a number of senior government officials in my administration are now driving locally assembled vehicles and I will take delivery of one for my personal use this week. This is an expression of our confidence in what we produce here in Ghana,” the president added.

Happy moment

President Akufo-Addo said the occasion is a very happy one for him, the Ghanaian people and a boost for the government’s industrial transformation agenda.

He said Toyota Tsusho’s presence in Ghana has been facilitated by the government’s bold move to develop the Ghana Automotive Development Policy under the auspices of the Ministry of Trade and Industry with generous fiscal incentives.

By assembling, and, ultimately, producing cars in Ghana, the president stressed that new and highly skilled jobs are being created, the use of foreign exchange to import secondhand vehicles will be reduced, and, at the same time, the exports of “Made in Ghana” cars to other African markets will earn the country much needed foreign exchange.

“The vision is to make Ghana a fully integrated and competitive industrial hub for the automotive industry in West Africa, and we are very much on course,” he said.

“This facility has already offered some three hundred and 334 employment opportunities to young Ghanaian graduates from our tertiary institutions across the country, notably from the University of Ghana, the University of Cape Coast, the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, the George Grant University of Mines and Technology, and some technical and vocational institutions” Akufo-Addo added.

Big boost

The president said the decision by Toyota Tsusho to undertake the investment has come at a very opportune time in Ghana’s development, as it serves as a major boost to ongoing efforts by the government to hasten the nation’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The confidence in the Ghanaian economy, expressed by a global organization like Toyota, he said, will provide additional impetus to the realisation of the government’s post-COVID economic recovery programme; the GHC100 billion Ghana Cares “Obaatanpa” programme, which has been designed to revitalise and transform the Ghanaian economy in the new COVID-19-free era.

“One of the components of this Programme is for Government, in collaboration with Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs), to develop an Asset-Based Vehicle Financing Scheme for public sector workers to purchase locally assembled vehicles. This scheme will make the acquisition of new vehicles more affordable,” the president said.

Enabling environment

The president assured that the government will continue to create the enabling environment to boost the profitability of the emerging automotive sector in Ghana, adding that the Ministry of Trade and Industry is working with other state institutions, such as Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation (GIADEC) and Ghana Integrated Iron and Steel Development Corporation (GIISDEC), to develop locally the required raw material value chains to feed the manufacturing sector of the automobile industry.

Automotive development centre

In addition to this, the President revealed that Government has also acquired a building complex at the South Industrial Area, in Accra, to be developed as the Ghana Automotive Development Centre, which will, amongst others, serve as a one-stop support destination for the implementation of the Auto Policy, and be a hub for the development of advanced skills for the industry.

The complex will also house the Ghana Automotive Development Council, a consultative stakeholder body, to oversee the auto policy implementation, and promote Ghanaian participation in the development of the sector.

He, thus, urged the company to expand, in due course, the range of models, since the Toyota brand has a strong presence in Ghana, West Africa and the rest of Africa.

“I also urge senior management of Toyota Corporation to leverage the incentives granted under the Ghana Automotive Development Programme to make their products affordable and competitive for the Ghanaian consumer. I assure investors and stakeholders within the automotive industry in Ghana of the government’s continuous, unflinching support for the sustainability of their businesses in Ghana,” he added.

Wilberforce Asare

Asaase Radio 99.5 – tune in or log on to broadcasts online
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