Leader of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has assured artisans at the Suame Magazine that they have an important role to play in helping to bring into fruition his policy of helping to establish one factory in each of the 216 district across the country.
According to Nana Akufo-Addo, the NPP’s “1-District-1-Factory” policy is a well-thought through one, explaining that if factories are to be established across the country, there must be a local, specialized centre which would see to the maintenance and equipment needs of these factories.
“We have carefully thought this through, and that is why we are telling Ghanaians that when given the opportunity in this year’s elections, we will do it. If we are going to help establish factories across the country, then we will need a place where equipment, spare parts, and tools can be manufactured and maintained. This is where artisans at the Suame Magazine come into play,” he said.
Nana Akufo-Addo made this known on Thursday, July 14, when he visited the Suame Magazine to interact with the thousands of artisans located in the industrial zone on Day 2 of his five-day tour of the Ashanti Region,
The Suame Magazine is recognised as the largest artisan engineering cluster in sub-Saharan Africa, and has a working population of over 200,000 and approximately 12,000 workshops, mainly engaged in engineering works, metal works and repairs of vehicles and equipment.
The NPP flagbearer noted that his government will ensure that the Suame Magazine Industrial Development Organisation (SMIDO) functions fully.
“The Suame Magazine Industrial Development Organisation, under an Akufo-Addo government, will function effectively, and undertake the purpose for which it was set up. My government will actively support SMIDO. This will ensure that we have an organization in Ghana capable of meeting the engineering needs of the factories, i.e. maintaining the equipment at these factories, as well as serving as a pool from which replacement parts for equipment can be manufactured,” he said.
Additionally, Nana Akufo-Addo recounted his experience in Germany, where three years ago he witnessed at firsthand the German Apprenticeship scheme.
This scheme, he indicated, will be replicated in Ghana when the electorate entrust him with their mandate.
“They have a system called the ‘Dual System, which combines apprenticeship and schooling. Artisans at the ‘Magazine’, through the upgrading of the National Vocational and Training Institute, will have the opportunity to upgrade their knowledge and skills, whilst working at the same time,” the NPP flagbearer said.
He continued, “Artisans, mechanics and fitters would also benefit from a small loans scheme which help them procure equipment for start-up mechanic shops across the country. I am not outlining these policies because I want votes. No! These policies are vital if we are to progress as a nation, create jobs for our youth, and also move Ghana onto the path of prosperity.”
Nana Akufo-Addo, thus, urged the thousands of artisans gathered not to pay heed to his opponents who will “swarm Magazine after I have left to tell you that all I have said cannot be done. Anytime there’s something good coming from the NPP, you find the Pharisees saying it cannot be done.”
He explained that any policy that has been introduced by the NPP, from the promise of the introduction of the National Health Insurance Scheme, the Free SHS policy, the Northern Development Authority and the recent ‘1-District-1-Factory’ policy, was initially said not to be feasible.
Posterity, he said, has proven the NPP right, as the NHIS was setup by President John Kufuor.
Again, after bastardising the Free SHS and Northern Development Authority policies, President Mahama also turned around to steal, and later try to implement them, albeit ending up in failure and corruption.
“Have confidence in me, and in what I am telling you. All that I have said this morning, when I am elected into Office, I am coming to implement all these polices. Also, the bad road network in Suame Magazine will be constructed,” he added.
In concluding, Nana Akufo-Addo appealed for the support of the thousands of artisans at Suame Magazine saying that, “this is my third attempt at unlocking the door (to the Presidency). I am here to appeal for your support. I need your strength and backing to help me, so I can come and do a job for Ghana, to the benefit of us all. Trust me and try me this year, and God-willing, when I get there, I will not disappoint you.”
The leadership of the Suame Magazine Spare Parts Association, on behalf of their members, made a GH¢20,000 cash donation towards the 2016 campaign of the NPP.