Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Minister urges foreign companies to employ Ghanaian nationals

Ghana's Energy Minister Joe Oteng-Adjei has warned Indian companies against bringing their own workforce to the country, urging them to employ locals. The minister made the comments shortly after signing an agreement with India's MBH Power and Shreem Electrical Limited in Accra. He said: "We don't expect you to bring in a ship-full of Indians to climb poles when we have more qualified people here who could as well perform the task."

Oteng-Adjei's comments are thought to have been made in a bid to help the country tackle high unemployment by inssitng that foreign companies working within Ghana take on local workers, especially in the energy and oil sectors.

The two Indian companies are expected to co-operate on a project to supply electricity to 110 communities across two regions as part of a $18-million national electrification project. The project, finance by Ecowas Bank for Investment and Development, is under the government's Self Help Electrification Project (SHEP) and will see an increase in supply of electricity across the Brong Ahafo and Ashanti regions within the next 18 months.

Oteng-Adjei also cautioned the companies over the mistreatment of Ghanaian emploees, saying: "The government would not hesitate to recall the company and its people, should they engage in acts of derogatory remarks and actions aimed at dehumanising indigenes in the beneficiary communities."

He added: "My advice, therefore, to you as contractors is to ensure that Ghanaians, particularly indigenes in the beneficiary communities, become involved in the execution of the project."

MBH Power managing director Bagu Mukhi said the processes for the award of the contract were transparent. He added that Ghana remained the country with most potential in Africa.

Sources: The Economic Times, Reuters, Bloomberg

For more news and expert analysis about Ghana, please see Ghana Politics & Security.

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