The Finder Newspaper is reporting that the Ministry of Education is importing fabrics from China for government’s free school uniform programme for deprived pupils in basic schools across the country.
The action of the Ministry of Education contradicts promises made by government to revamp the local textile industry to make it competitive and a major driver for youth employment.
The move has also rendered a contractual agreement with Printex Ghana Limited, one of the local textile manufacturing companies, to supply the fabric useless.
Printex Ghana on anticipation of producing the uniforms as agreed upon with the ministry purchased equipment worth millions of dollars – which now lie idle.
Government in 2009 made it a policy to empower local textile manufacturing companies by procuring all its fabric needs from local manufacturers.
But a few years down the line, government seems to have abandoned the local textile manufacturing companies, who have sunk huge sums of monies into retooling and installing new machines to meet the new demand, to procure the uniforms from China. Late last month, the Greater Accra Regional Directorate of the Ghana Education Service released sets of uniforms to schools in Metropolitan, Municipality and District Assemblies for onward distribution to pupils in the region.
The development has sent tongues wagging among the local textile manufacturing industry, many of who are questioning the government’s commitment to grow the local industry if it continues to import cheap fabric from China at the expense of a collapsing local textile manufacturing industry.