Economic crises: We must increase domestic production
The Executive Chairman of the Jospong Group of Companies (JGC), Dr. Joseph Siaw Agyepong has advocated homegrown solutions to address the economic challenges currently bedevilling the country.
“The economic challenges that we are facing should rather bring forth our entrepreneurial spirit as we find homegrown solutions to them,” Dr. Joseph Siaw Agyepong made the call at the 2022 Annual Thanksgiving Service of the JGC and Zoomlion on Friday, December 9, 2022, at the group’s head office at Ashley Botwe in Accra.
According to him, it is now time for Ghanaians to increase domestic production and ensure that “we consume what we produce in order to reduce the incessant pressure on the Ghana cedi.”
To this end, he stressed the need for the nation to prioritize localization, stating optimistically that “we shall come out of this situation victorious through the grace of the Almighty God.”
2022, he bemoaned, has been characterized by harsh economic challenges, adding that these have had negative impacts on businesses and individuals.
“In these circumstances, there is the inclination to gloss over the goodness of the Lord and not appreciate Him for divine preservation. Let’s remember that through it all, the Lord has been good and faithful to us,” he reminded Ghanaians.
Dr. Agyepong was upbeat that Ghana would eventually come out of its economic doldrums.
He commended the government for its policy initiatives to boost local productive capacity and the protection of local industries by cutting down on imports.
“Indeed, the government’s decision to restrict the importation of commodities such as vegetable oil, rice, poultry, fruit juices, and ceramic tiles, is a step in the right direction towards self-sustenance,” he said.
However, the executive chairman of JGC called for an extension of the restriction to cover anything that is being produced by locals and for which “we have a comparative advantage.”
“In this regard, we need to boost the domestic avenues for their production, and these avenues would create ample job opportunities for our youth.
“As we applaud the government over its domestication efforts, we are humbly asking the government to be committed and very firm on this policy. We don’t want a situation where people will invest heavily in local industries only to be derailed by a lack of commitment on the part of the government,” Dr. Agyepong pleaded.
In the wake of the current economic circumstances, Dr. Agyepong applauded the hard work, patience, support, and resilience of Ghanaians.
“By our nature and cultural orientation, Ghanaians are typically industrious, peace-loving, united and supportive. We are well-known, and ever will be, for these virtues. Ghanaians have been known to love their country, and able to work hard to manage their own affairs when given the opportunity. Regardless of how unsatisfactory conditions are, our people have been loyal to our beloved country,” he expressed.
“As we strengthen our feet in the paths of domestication, we are entreated to work harder than ever before, to do quality work and produce quality commodities.”
Furthermore, Dr. Agyepong stressed the need for Ghanaians to have a healthy attitude towards Ghana-made products and patronize them. This, he explained, will help the Ghanaian economy to bounce back.
“We must all cherish, support, and sustain the modest gains that we have made over this period. May I use this opportunity to also encourage other businesses to support the efforts and initiatives of the government? I will continue to admonish the youth to also put their hands on deck, launch out and take advantage of opportunities being provided by the government through its various youth-related initiatives like YouStart, planting for food and jobs to contribute their quota to national development,” he stated.
“…I wish to take the opportunity to stand on my behalf and that of my wife Adelaide and the entire Agyepong and allied families to thank you all sincerely for the outpouring of love and support during the demise and final funeral rites of my late father, Opanyin Samuel Kwame Agyepong”, he appreciated.
He further said, “Words fail me as I recall the great support and services you rendered to make the final journey of my father memorable and spectacular. To avoid a situation where I mention one and leave out others, let me just say thank you to you all. However, I cannot have this platform without thanking the President of the Republic, H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his Vice Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and their wives, Former Presidents John Agyekum Kufour and John Dramani Mahama for their presence at the funeral. It was one of the most humbling moments of my life and I will never forget it.”