Local woodworkers are challenging Parliament to test their skills, in the wake of concerns about the quality of chairs imported from China for the House.
President of the Woodworkers Association of Ghana (WAG), Reynolds Debrah, says members are prepared to produce free samples for comparison with the imported ones.
“We are throwing this challenge to the government and to parliamentarians that they should bring one of the broken chairs to us; we’ll produce five new ones so that they will compare and the next time they [will] fall on us,” he told Luv Fm.
Mr. Debrah says costing should be a factor because “if our cost is even high, it’s within the country; it is Ghanaians getting this money and they’ll use it in Ghana to build the economy”.
He is surprised at government’s sudden turn to foreign products when it seeks to encourage Ghanaians to patronize locally- made goods.
“Ghanaians have the capacity to produce even better chairs than that of China, which is more durable [than Chinese products],” noted Mr. Debrah.
“If they order these things from us Ghanaians, we create employment and the dollar which is running away from us, our contribution will help the dollar come down to stabilize.”
The woodworkers expect government to reduce “bureaucratic bottlenecks” in tendering processes to give them the opportunity to produce and meet demands.
They also entreat the Ministry of Trade and Industry to help revive the Ghana International Furniture Exhibition (GIFEX) to provide the platform for showcasing of Ghanaian furniture products.
“We want the public to know that there are competent and skillful woodworkers in Ghana who can adequately furnish all government or state institutions with quality furniture products,” said Mr. Debrah.