Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia interacting with members of the Council of Indigenous Business Association  in Accra
Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia interacting with members of the Council of Indigenous Business Association in Accra
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Bawumia to inject 2,000 megawatts solar power

The Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has assured Ghanaians and the business community that he will augment the current power production of the country with 2,000 megawatts of solar power should he become the leader of the country.

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He said he was aware of the increased cost of electricity in doing business, among other challenges but expressed the hope that the 2,000 megawatts of solar power, which was about half of the total electricity consumption of the country, would boost businesses and also reduce the cost of power.

Dr Bawumia, who was speaking during a meeting with members of the Council of Indigenous Business Association (CIBA) in Accra last Monday, urged traders and businesses to support his bid to be successful in the forthcoming Presidential election in December to help realise that dream.

He called on Ghanaians to give him the chance to be President, saying “I am currently a Vice-President, someone was President, I have not been President before, so give me the chance to be President and you will notice the work I will do.”

 “I know I will come to you again after you give me the chance in this year’s elections and so I will work very hard. Someone will come and have a honeymoon because he has just four years,” he added.

CIBA

The CIBA, which is a group of indigenous businesses, includes the Ghana National Association of Garages, the Ghana Bar Operators Association, the Market Traders Association, the Ghana Traditional Caterers Association, the Ghana National Tailors and Dressmakers Association and the National Refrigerators and Air Condition Workshop Owners Association.

It was established by a Legislative Instrument under ACT 1993 (PNDCL 312) to act as a focal point and a unified voice for the informal business sector in the country to oversee the affairs of all indigenous business associations in the country.

Dr Bawumia, who expressed himself in Twi in his response to concerns raised by the group, assured the Ghana National Association of Traditional Healers that once the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) certified medicines produced by the group, he would ensure those medicines were registered under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

Similarly, the flag bearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) bought into a proposal by the National Refrigerators and Air Condition Workshop Owners Association for the establishment of a refrigerator manufacturing plant in the country and promised to assist the association to realise that proposal.

The Vice-President patiently took the group through what the government had been doing with its digitalisation policy, highlighted the benefits of the system to traders and said much as the construction of market infrastructure was essential, traders were already benefiting from the use of digital platforms.
 

Gold purchase

Responding to a question on the availability of gold and challenges associated with its acquisition by the Federation of Ghana Goldsmith and Jewellers Association, Dr Bawumia said small-scale miners would be licensed under his administration.

He said those miners who operated within the mining regulations would be allowed to mine and sell to the Precious Minerals Marketing Company (PMMC) or the Bank of Ghana (BoG) for onward sale to jewellers.

He said a Minerals Development Bank would also be established, while assuring the group that he would ensure that the Ghana Geological Survey Authority (GGSA) was given funds to undertake more exploration. He indicated that the gold found would be indigenised for only Ghanaians.

He also assured the business people of a stress-free passport acquisition under his administration with the use of the Ghana Card, saying it could be done with a mobile phone and the passport delivered to the applicant through a digital address.

Import duty

He promised to deal with smuggling by pegging, for instance, the import duty of the country at par or lower than that of Togo to make smuggling unattractive.

He said his government would involve every stakeholder in the country and, therefore, urged the CIBA and all other organisations to join him in his quest to become President.

The Executive Secretary of CIBA, John Nimoh, for his part, advised members of the group to wake up from their slumber and recognise that they were major players in the development of the country.

Mr Nimoh debunked the assertion that the government was the largest employer in the country.

Rather, he said it was members of the CIBA who employed millions of youth and the vulnerable.

He pointed out that the group would sign a social contract with Dr Bawumia and hold him to it should he become President.

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Mr Nimoh said the CIBA, in partnership with Waltergate Limited, was restructuring its activities through a data system.

To that end, he said, there would be registration of members who would be issued with identity cards with payment solution benefits.

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