Trade minister rejects business minister appointment calls

477378087_Dr-Spio-GarbrahThe Minister of Trade and industry Dr. Ekow Spio Garbrah has rejected calls for the appointment of a minister of business.

According to Dr. Ekow Spio Garbrah the appointment of a Business Minister is not the solution to the numerous problems the private sector faces in its quest to becoming competitive in a fast changing global village.At a public forum to discuss how the Ghanaian private sector can remain competitive in Africa Lawyer David Ofosu – Dorte a council member of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) made a case for a Minister of Business to be appointed to ensure that bottle necks faced by businesses are adequately resolved.

But some private sector associations have rejected the call.

Speaking to Citi Business News at the 2nd in a series of lectures organized by AGI on the theme “is the Public Sector a catalyst or a stumbling Block to the Growth of Ghanaian Businesses”, the Minister of Trade and Industry Dr. Ekow Spio Garbrah rather called for a change in attitude of public and civil servants to help in creating the enabling environment for the private sector to thrive.

“There are many ways to getting business and industry to be efficient in this country, the name change in itself I don’t think make a difference. My own view is that changing a name of a ministry or an agency often has many cost associated with it which always are not thought through or thought about, you always end up changing stationary, sign post and many other things which nobody has ever sat down to check the cost to this, so there is a loss to the economy in some of those areas. The most specific change I think we need is the change in attitudes and change in mind set of public and civil servants with regards to helping businesses.”

Until most public servants understand that a significant part of their work irrespective of which agency or ministry they work in is to make businessmen and women more efficient in their work in the fastest possible time. You can change all the names of ministries and agencies you want there want be any impact, Minister of Trade and Industry Dr. Ekow Spio Garbrah said.

Meanwhile the chairman for the forum as well as the Director General of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), Dr. Nii Moi Thompson called for innovation among private sector players.

“At all levels we need to be efficient, we need to provide key services to the society as a whole and to the private sector. The kinds of services that government offers must be offered efficiently and in a more cost effective way. The private sector itself needs to innovate and reinvent itself on regular bases, so the way it’s does things must also change to keep pace with the times.”

The private sector must be properly defined so we can fashion out proper policies for the sector, Director General of the National Development Planning Commission, Dr. Nii Moi Thompson said.


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