By Nana Bentsi Oduro
Former Speaker of Parliament, Edward Doe Adjaho, has called on Ghanaian businesses to adopt an aggressive policy of value addition to exported products as a means of radically transforming the Ghanaian economy.
In his view, Ghana was still operating the ‘Guggisberg economy’ from the 1920s where raw materials with little value or no value was exported with the hope that money realised from cocoa sales balanced the scales.
“We do the syndication with the little cocoa money and the dollar stabilises a bit, and then the cocoa money runs out and we are back to square one. We then go to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) or the World Bank and repeat the cycle.
“In my 24 years in parliament, from being a backbencher to becoming a speaker, all governments across the political divide when they want credibility for their programmes run to the IMF or the World Bank.
“Let us get more Ghanaians to focus on adding value to our products so that we don’t go importing every single thing such as toothpick from outside the country and I believe that is the way forward,” he explained.
For this to be achieved, Mr Adjaho who was Speaker from 2013-2017 asked Ghanaians to change their taste by placing premium on local goods, adding that such efforts will help to reduce the import bill to the barest minimum.
He made the recommendation as guest speaker at the factory commissioning of Enginmac Laser & CNC Technologies Limited, a metals technology company at Spintex in Accra.
Enginmac operates services including general metal fabrication, design and building of metal structures, auxiliary metal works for real estates and prefabricated houses among others.
Mr Adjaho applauded Enginmac for utilising and depending on materials from Ghana in crafting their products and advised other Ghanaian companies to follow suit to lower the import bill.
“When you are importing you don’t pay in cedis, you have to pay in dollars, Ghanaians will buy in cedis but you need the dollar to buy it, demand and supply will come in and the dollar will appreciate the cedi.
“Hence we need to encourage young Ghanaian businesses to adopt such innovations and ideals irrespective of their political persuasions or philosophy,” he added.
The six-term Member of Parliament (MP) for Avenor-Ave in the Volta Region, urged Ghanaian business owners to run a bi-partisan model if they wanted their business to thrive.
“Do your work. Don’t align yourself to any political party. Parties will come and go. But you are a business person. And if you want your business to succeed in Ghana please open your doors. That is the way to go,” he said.