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Opinions of Wednesday, 12 April 2006

Columnist: Amankwah, Nana Kofi

Kufour be political realists to Ghanaian contractors

John Agyekum Kufour has been following his predecessors by only awarding the World Bank contracts to foreign contractors. As the country?s trying to use fiscal policy to support its social agenda, Kufour must support some good Ghanaian contractors who will also have a piece of the World Bank cake. In fact, if some Ghanaian contractors are financially adequate they will diversify their business to create more jobs for their native citizens. The country cannot continue to rely on foreign investors only. This will not help the country into long term economic prosperity. Any time these contractors finish their projects they must leave the country with a huge amount of money while the country has to work hard to pay loans including interest.

If the current administrations continues these practices how can we balance our current accounts, with services, goods, import and exports? Instead of helping some Ghanaian contractors to bid for international service contracts from World Bank projects that will keep revenues in our economic system. The current administration has turned away from their needs. While foreign contractors are driving foreign currency out of our current accounts and creates huge liabilities in our current accounts in the banks of Ghana.

The president and his cabinet should select a few Ghanaian contractors that have a good history in building and finishing their projects on time. This administration can assist them with import consents to acquire some construction equipment to enable them to compete with the foreign contractors. If the current administration continues to award the foreign contract to foreigners how are we going to continued to build the country?s infrastructure? How are they going to create permanent jobs for our local engineers that will make them self-sufficient? This is one of the reasons why our economy cannot grow or create jobs for our citizens.

During the Lemann administration, Lemann selected a few good contractors whom he awarded the import consent to acquire tipper trucks from Japan and Germany. Some of the contractors were Swedru contractors, Oyoko contractors and others. The Kufour administration can also select some good contractors to help them to build a better fortune for our good contractors and the Nation. The president and his economic advisors have realized that using both monetary and fiscal policy will keep the exchange rate and economic status steady. They rely on taxes, so they should reduce interest rates for contractors to obtain some loans from banks with maximum duration of payments. This will help them to acquire World Bank projects and pay taxes to stimulate the economy. They can also tender some ongoing IMF project in other Africa countries; this will increase the GNP and GPD.

Nana Kofi Amankwah (New York)

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