The Deputy Minority Leader, Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, has urged government to roll out a deliberate policy to upgrade car garages and fitting shops across the country to a level where they can produce their own cars.
He said incentives given to the big players in the car manufacturing industry to assemble their cars here in Ghana could be channelled into helping local garages to scale up and hone their talents.
"In any case, the big players have always been here to assemble their cars.
These are already manufactured car parts which are brought to put them together.”
"Ask yourself, how many jobs will this create?
Don't you think if same support is given to Kantanka and the like, Ghana's economy will thrive? he asked.
The deputy minority leader who was speaking to the Daily Graphic in an interview touched on the Trade and Industry section in the 2024 budget, describing it as a failure.
On one of government's flagship programmes, One district, One factory, Mr Buah said the project had failed because importation of all kinds of products had shot up.
The factories are concentrated in Accra, Ashanti and Eastern Region "and all these are already existing factories".
He said from a projection of creating 350,000 jobs in three years, the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Attah, in the presentation of the 2024 budget, said till date, the programme had created 169,000 jobs.
"Granted that these figures are even true, can you point to one product that the 1D1F has produced? he asked.
The Member of Parliament for Ellembelle in the Western Region said government has invested GH¢ 10 million in the 1D1F through tax exemptions, stimulus packages among others with nothing to show for.
He said rather than this policy to reduce the importation of items, the reverse was what was happening.
"We spend about half a billion dollars in the importation of rice alone because the country can only produce about 46 per cent of the rice we consume.
"As a country we import tomatoes to the tune of $700 million and this year, we are importing about $120 million of tomatoes from Burkina Faso alone. Are we serious?"
He called for home-grown policies devoid of politics to turn the economy around and make Ghana self-reliant in food production.