Industries cry for consistent supply of utilities
The management of B5 Plus Group the largest steel manufacturer in West African has appealed to utility providers to ensure regular supply of water and electricity to companies within the industrial enclave.
Mr Mukesh V. Thakwani, Chief Executive Officer of B5 Plus Group, which is also the third largest steel manufacturer in Africa, located at Kpone, explained that industries depended on consistent supply of utilities for successful production.
He said the greatest challenge facing private companies in their operations was the lack of water and electricity; stressing “it is frustrating when lights go off for hours without any prior communications. Production operations have to come to an abrupt end, which sometimes even affects the machines”.
Mr Thakwani made the appeal when a delegation from the Centre for Greater Impact Africa paid a working visit to the company at Kpone and toured its steel manufacturing factory located at Lakpleku in the Ningo-Prampram District.
The delegation was led by the Reverend Dr. Worlanyo Mensah, Executive Director; Mr Samuel Akoetey, Director for Business Development for the Centre, Justice Isaac Douse, Appeals Court Judge (retired), Dr. Chris Kpodar, formerly of the United Nations, and Mr Prince Saviour Gankui, all Technical Advisors for the Centre.
He further noted that access roads was another problem which affected both the processes of production and distribution and therefore urged government to help the companies, the industrial catchment areas by rehabilitating the deplorable roads, as well as constructing new ones to link the industry base to the market.
Touching on other production related issues, he indicated that there was the need to put in place some tax exemptions on the importation of some important raw materials not available locally to bring down the cost of production and its resultant high cost of goods on the market.
Mr Thakwani observed that whereas local companies were producing certain items in Ghana, importation of the same products into the country does not create a competitive environment for the expansion of companies as they had to compete with imported goods.
He therefore suggested that either additional levies would be put on the importation of such goods or a total ban on them would help the local industries to thrive and create more jobs for the unemployed Ghanaians youth.
He noted that B5 Plus provides the sub-region with the needed nails, iron rods, wire mesh, binding wires among others and therefore there was the need for government to support it to expand and produce more.
He disclosed that the company had provided over 15,000 jobs directly and indirectly to Ghanaians.
Rev Mensah said for the high unemployment rate in Ghana to be reduced, there was the need to empower the private companies to take advantage of the AfCFTA to give opportunity to the youth by expanding and creating more jobs.
He agreed that there was the need for governments to provide the needed basic amenities to companies as well as formulate good administrative policies to help companies thrive in their various sector in Ghana.
He said there was the need for instance for government to formalize the informal sector through digitalization to ensure that more people fulfil their tax obligations to the state instead of over burdening the ones who were already complying.