President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has asked local vehicle manufacturing plants to take advantage of the decision by the government to place a ban on the importation of vehicles.
He expressed optimism that the suspension of vehicle imports will boost the automobile industry in Ghana.
Delivering his State of the Nation Address (SONA), he urged the local vehicle assembly businesses to position themselves to take advantage of the ban.
He posited that the government will give priority to procurement of locally assembled vehicles.
“Now that the Minister for Finance has announced an embargo on the importation of 4×4 vehicles for official use, I hope the local assembly plants will take full advantage of the opportunity, especially since the government is continuing with its policy of giving first priority to locally assembled vehicles in respect of all publicly financed procurement of vehicles,” the president said.
He also asserted that the move would create better opportunities for Kantanka Automobile Company.
“Our national iconic automobile brand, the Kantanka brand, produced by Kantanka Automobile Company Ltd, also stepped up production of its made-in-Ghana vehicles, which include Nkunimdie SUV, Omama Pick-up, Onantefo 4×4 Pick-up, Otumfuo SUV and K71 Small SUV models.”
He added: “Since June 2021, Toyota and Suzuki brands of vehicles are being produced here, commencing with production of the Hilux Pick-up and Swift models. VW and Sinotruk, which commenced commercial operations in 2020, have continued to assemble their brands of vehicles and are enjoying significant local patronage.”
He further announced that there are plans by three automobile firms – KIA, Hyundai, and Renault – to begin commercial production in Ghana this year.
“In addition, a new, state-of-the-art assembly plant with capacity to assemble 5,000 new vehicles per annum has been established by Nissan in Tema, which is currently producing Nissan and Peugeot brands of vehicles for the Ghanaian and West African markets.
“I will have the pleasure to commission this new plant in Tema tomorrow. Three other vehicle manufacturers – namely KIA, Hyundai, and Renault – are also expected to commence commercial production this year,” Akufo-Addo said.