Over two thousand (2000) workers in Ghana’s Printing Industry risk losing their jobs as the industry faces its worst fears of imminent collapse.
The Printers Association lament the Education Ministry has centralized all printing within the national and district Electricity Company of Ghana has invested about GH?66 million in development projects within the past three years to improve power supply in the Eastern Region.
The projects include the construction of a 2x10 33/11MVA primary substation in Mpraeso, 2x10 33/11MVA substation in Suhum, complete relaying of the submarine cable in the Afram River, and the conversion of a 33KV single circuit feeder to a double circuit feeder from Tafo to Koforidua.
This was disclosed by the Managing Director of ECG, Mr Kwame Agyeman-Budu at the official commissioning of the newly constructed primary substation in Mpraeso last week.
According to Mr Agyeman-Budu, the company continuously invests in projects to improve on its operations to achieve its mandate of providing quality and reliable power supply to its customers.
“The provision of quality and reliable electrical power to customers is the hallmark of ECG, thus the company continuously invests in improving our operations in order to achieve this mandate,” he said.
The ECG boss stated that the company aims at constantly improving on its electrical network system to ensure quality and reliable power supply for its customers.
He said several network development projects have been completed to reinforce the primary distribution network and also for upgrading and expansion of the network.
According to him, ECG has also deployed the use of drones to monitor and audit the network system to assist in curbing the major challenge of vegetation interferences in the electrical network, as well as identify other weak spots for prompt rectification.
He added that “the initiative is expected to further reduce outages to a large extent and increase customer satisfaction”.
Mr Kwame Agyeman-Budu, therefore, appealed to the general public to desist from all forms of illegal connection activities and pay their bills promptly to enable ECG serve them better. t offices depriving them of their biggest clientele which are schools.
“Since the roll out of the Free SHS, procurement of educational materials such as exercise books and notebooks have been centralized at the central government headquarters in Accra.” The acting chair of the Printers Association Yaw Oti Boateng stated in a news conference in the Printing hub of Asafo in Kumasi.
The association argued an initiative to ban all schools from purchasing supplementary books has further cut their contracts from book writers.
Mr. Oti Boateng indicated: “Before free education policies, schools were allowed to procure textbooks In addition to the one supplied by government. This created jobs for our members and their workers. The current system does not allow schools to do that.”
They further lashed out at government for contracting Chinese and Indian firms to supply printing machines to all education offices to undertake their own printing of question papers and answer booklets which hitherto was done by private printing houses.
The printing houses owners disclosed they have had to lay off two-thirds of their workers in the face of difficulties in generating enough revenue to keep paying salaries.
They contended, their hopes in banking on printing posters for politicians ahead of the elections did not materialize as they claimed politicians had crowded them out with their own printing companies.
“Its few days to elections but go around and see if any printing press has any contract to print materials for political parties. The politicians themselves have turned into printers and doing the jobs,” Yaw Oti Boateng bemoaned.
The printing houses further expressed worry the Ghana Revenue Authority and the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly keep taunting them while they struggle to raise decent revenue to pay taxes and business operation permits.
They called on government to review its new regimes on the publishing of books and other education-related materials to save the age-old industry from collapse.
Some workers who spoke to Ultimate FM’s reporter Ivan Heathcote – Fumador noted that they were now left with the option of wishing that people had wedding ceremonies and funerals so they could print invitation cards and funeral posters.
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