Eight local printing houses that have been selected to print textbooks for schools in the country say they are ready and set to execute the job.
While some have upgraded their machines and procured modern ones, others are awaiting the green light from the government to employ the requisite manpower.
To acquaint himself with the level of preparedness of the companies, the Deputy Minister in charge of Tertiary Education, Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, on Tuesday embarked on an inspection tour of three of those selected in Accra.
He visited G-Pak, a subsidiary of the Graphic Communications Group Ltd. (GCGL), the Buck Press and Type Company Limited.
The other five companies are Triple A Enterprise, Sec-print Gh Ltd, Fine Print, Jay Kay Enterprise and Checkpoint Ltd.
At G-Pak, the deputy minister, who was accompanied by the Director of Procurement of the ministry, Mr Aruna Nelson, was conducted round and later briefed by the Managing Director of the company, Mr Kenneth Ashigbey.
Mr Ashigbey said the company had more than enough capacity in terms of machinery, human resource and the needed skills to execute the job on schedule and with the quality required.
He said he was hopeful that with the decision of the government to waive tax on imported printing materials, local printing would be competitive.
For his part, the General Manager of Buck Press, Mr Francis Nyanin, said the company had procured state-of-the-art machines and was, therefore, more than prepared to execute the job.
He described the decision of government as long overdue, adding that it was indeed welcome news.
On human resource, he said the company had the required personnel to man the machines, adding that resident engineers both mechanical and electrical were on site in the event of any emergency.
Type Company Ltd
The Chief Executive Officer of Type Company Ltd, Mr Kobby Asmah, said his company had formed a consortium with some other printing companies to execute the job.
“We see this as a challenge not just for us as a company, but for the industry and we are determined that this job is executed,” he said.
Sharing his observation after the tour, Mr Ablakwa said he was amazed at the array of modern machinery on display at all the companies visited.
He said it was clear that Ghanaian printers and publishers had no excuse printing books outside the country, adding that all the companies he visited were operating at 40 per cent capacity.
Mr Ablakwa gave an assurance that the government was committed to waiving the import duty on the paper for the printing to ensure that both the local publishers and printers were competitive.
He warned that any of the printers or publishers who would attempt sneaking out to print outside the country risked losing the contract and being blacklisted in future.