Car plants in Ghana is a 'risky' game, may achieve the intended purpose


Toyota Headquarters in Japan has just dash Ghana a beautiful edifice, a brand new small SKD plant - the smallest of all auto plants of the company anywhere in the world according to auto watchers.

They took advantage of the no-tax policy that the touted pro-business regime has implemented to attract foreign investment in the Ghana Auto Market populated by used imported cars.

The Ghanaian market is substantially dependent on raw materials exports like food crops and some minerals.

The West African second-largest economy is acclaimed to be relatively stable politically and economically and that explains why foreign multinationals are pouring money to establish a foothold here to reach the rest of Africa.

Our biggest brother, Nigeria the next door is believed to be unattractive for now for big businesses abroad to establish their presence there.

But what if before the ten years granted to these companies not to pay tax expired; all of a sudden, the Africans Largest economy is politically stable and slightly perfect like Ghana?

Are these companies barred by laws not to relocate after ten years or the assurance is they will stay is our hope.

Foreign direct investment and import substitution are good but I stand to differ in my logic that the good news from Government to Ghanaians before celebrate, are we sure it is better than the deals the CPP led government signed to assembly cars in Ghana post-independent?

The answer tells me that this Toyota SKD small plant is risky and may not achieve the intended purpose.

What pains me most is that this investment is just worth 7 million dollars, the key question is why can't the government of Ghana agree on a joint venture and pays 3.5 million to the company giving the government a say in the operations of the company.

I don't want to believe we don't have the money, the money is there. 

By Eng Prof, a student of political science and a benevolent policy advocate