Business News of Fri, 19 May 20173
Contractor lauds government’s 70% local content move
A local contractor, Hussein Yushaw Fuzak, CEO of Fuzak Company Ltd., has welcomed government’s new policy of reserving 70 per cent of all contracts funded by the taxpayer for local contractors.
The initiative is part of efforts by the government to make local contractors globally competitive.
The announcement was made by Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, when he represented President Nana Akufo-Addo at the opening of a two-day National Policy Summit on the economy at the Accra International Conference Centre.
“For all taxpayer-funded contracts in Ghana, we are committed that, at least, 70 per cent of those contracts have to go to local companies,” Dr Bawumia said.
Welcoming the initiative in an interview with Moro Awudu on Class91.3FM’s Executive Breakfast Show, Mr Yushaw Fuzak said: “It’s a laudable idea and we should all pray and hope that it’s implemented because if you look at the local construction industry today, it is not like yesterday because you could see a local contractor, particularly [in the] road sector, applying asphalt. These were reserved for foreign contractors some time ago.”
According to him, the initiative will also spur the economy. “This initiative is one of many that could help boost the Ghanaian economy in the sense that those days when […] contractors are paid in cedis, they are compelled to change it into various currencies to transfer it back home. Today if you are paying your brother, a local contractor, for work done, he expects you to keep the cedis because he doesn’t need it anywhere; that is strengthening our currency.”
Apart from that, Mr Yushaw Fuzak also said the policy would help provide jobs for many locals. “If you go anywhere to employ somebody to come and work here, he will employ your brother, a Ghanaian, to work with you. So it’s a laudable idea and we are hoping and praying that if the government implements it, it will help both the local industry and also strengthen our Ghanaian economy,” he further observed.
He disagreed with perceptions that local contractors are sloppy, thus, do a shoddy job when given contracts. “The quality of work some of us are putting up, not even foreign contractors can match it – particularly the Chinese. … I can tell you that the local construction industry has come of age. We cannot count the number of local contractors currently who have built asphalt plants in this country. Previously, asphalting was preserved for foreign contractors like CP, etc., but I can count more than 10 local contractors now in Ghana who have their own asphalt plants and they are constructing asphalt roads of better quality than those of foreign contractors,” continued Mr Fuzak.
Aside from the above benefits, Mr Yushaw Fuzak also said giving more jobs to local contracts will even “reduce litigation in the construction industry”.