Some of the major achievements of the late Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s government were the numerous industries and factories that he established.
Through his vision of industrialization, he was able to create employment for various categories of workers in the country. Regrettably he was booted out of power in the 1966 coup by the military, after which the State Owned Enterprises began to collapse. Some of them were also diverted into private hands which resulted in the retrenchment of Ghanaian workers .
Following the free market economy policy started by the Rawlings administration and continued by ex President Kufuor, the rest of the companies, including the divested ones, are also finding it difficult to compete with imported goods produced by their counterparts in the advanced countries.
This situation has arisen because whilst the Breton Woods Institutions have coaxed our governments to withdraw subsidies in most sectors of the economy, our competitors from the advanced countries have maintained their subsidies.
As a result of this, the imported products are relatively cheaper when compared with the local ones. This has affected most of the local industries who have to take drastic measures to lay-off their workers.
To make matters worse, contracts that could be executed by local companies to create employment are awarded to foreign ones by the government.
The Chronicle can vividly recall that the then opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) made a lot of noise about this particular development when the contract for the printing of the Ghana@50 paraphernalia was awarded to a foreign company, when the local ones have the capacity to do same. The Chronicle is, therefore, troubled with news reports that the contract for the printing of uniform for school children has been awarded to a Chinese firm by the same government that criticized the same procedure when it was in opposition.
We have some of the finest printing companies in the country, which we believe can easily execute this contract, so what really motivated the government to take this decision? Government has come out to deny the story, so we are holding them by their word, but if it turns out that they were deceiving Ghanaians, then posterity would never forgive them.
There are millions of people roaming the streets of Ghana without jobs, resulting in the increased armed robbery and other social vices which hitherto were alien to Ghanaians, but if in the face of all these, our government decides to award contract to foreign companies when local ones have the expertise to execute the same job, then God should save this country. The Chronicle does not think Ghana would have been where it is today, if Dr. Kwame Nkrumah who established most of these industries had also chosen this path.
All over the world, governments are doing everything possible to protect their local industries in order to create employment, but if we have decided to think the other way round, then we should not blame anybody but ourselves if the economy remains stagnant.
There is no way the Chinese government would do what our government is alleged to have done. Their major interest is to protest their local industries first.