President commissions KIA assembly plant
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo Tuesday commissioned a local assembly plant for the production of KIA vehicles for the Ghana and West Africa market.
Established by Rana Motors, it offers direct employment to 250 young people, and is expected to create 300 additional indirect jobs to contribute to the development of the local value chain for automobile assembling.
The company has the capacity to assemble some 30,000 vehicles annually.
It will bring the total capacity of the domestically established assembly plants by various vehicle companies to 100,000 vehicles per year.
President Akufo-Addo said the investment by Rana Motors was “a strong indication of the private sector support of my government's industrialisation agenda, and the sign of growing resilience by the private sector in these challenging times”.
President Akufo-Addo said he had directed that state institutions prioritised domestically assembled vehicles for relevant procurements to fulfil the government's commitment to patronise made-in-Ghana products.
“We are, however, mindful of the fact that the state alone cannot purchase sufficient numbers of vehicles to be produced from the assembly plants; it will thus require Ghanaians to patronise these vehicles,” he said.
The President said the government would soon roll out an asset-based vehicle financing scheme to stimulate demand for domestically assembled vehicles, as was the case in developed economies, to afford Ghanaians the opportunity to purchase vehicles under the Ghana Automotive Development programme.
President Akufo-Addo assured the assembly plants that government would continue with discussions that would lead to the expansion of the market for domestically assembled vehicles at the regional and continental levels.
That, he assured the public, was intended to drive the demand and create the necessary traction for them to transition into a completely knock-down assembly, which would be supported by component and kits produced domestically to feed into the supply chain.
He said the government had shown commitment by implementing the zero rating of VAT on the sale of domestically assembled vehicles, meaning there was no VAT on the sale of domestically assembled vehicles even to the end-user to make domestically assembled vehicles affordable.
President Akufo-Addo said to implement the outstanding positions within the Customs Amendment Act 2020, he had charged the Minister of Finance, upon the resumption of Parliament, to submit the required Legislative Instrument to propose the implementation start date for these outstanding provisions of the Act.
“The implementation of these outstanding provisions would trigger the full implementation of the Ghana Automotive Development policy, and drive further investment into the industry.
He gave an assurance that government would provide all assistance for the achievement of the target of assembling 1.5 million vehicles per year by the end of 2023 as projected by the Association of African Automobile Manufacturers.
That, he added, would also take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat located in Accra.
A Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Michael Okyere Baafi, said the commissioning of the KIA plant had added to the already established assembly plants for the commercial production of global brands such as VW, Suzuki, Nissan, Peugeot, Hyundai, Shinghan and SE Motor.
He said government was committed to fast-tracking Ghana’s industrial transformation on the back of state-of-the-art manufacturing in key strategic industries in areas such as agro-processing, automobile, pharmaceuticals, textiles and garments, iron and steel and petrochemical.