Captain Victor Batie (rtd) displaying his outboard motors
Government could significantly reduce importation of outboard motors if it offers support to local manufacturers.
A Ghanaian auto engineer, Captain Victor Batie (rtd), who has built his own outboard motors using scrap materials, said this in an interview with BUSINESS GUIDE on Thursday in Accra.
He brought the outboard motors to the offices of Western Publications Limited, publishers of DAILY GUIDE on Thursday to showcase them.
He said they can be used by canoes of all sizes and small boats and have the ability to travel long distances just like the imported ones.
“They can perform like the normal engine outboard motors. They don’t use premix fuel and are less costly as compared to those imported into Ghana,” explained the retired army officer, who started his innovative work in 1997 immediately after his retirement from the Ghana Army.
Ghana currently imports outboard motors from Japan and other Asian countries.
Government this year reportedly imported more than 1,000 outboard motors to be distributed to fishermen at a subsidized cost.
Local manufacturers like myself are struggling to get support from the State even though our products can equally meet the needs of fisher folks in the country as compared to those being imported at exorbitant cost, he said.
According to him, outboard motors imported into the country are being sold between GH¢12, 000 and GH¢14, 000 respectively.
But the ones produced locally can be sold between GH¢2,000 and GH¢4000 on the market, he said, adding that with support from government, the country could save foreign exchange.
Captain Victor Batie (rtd) has won several awards from the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) for his other innovations namely: Energy Efficient Cookware, Mosquito Net Mounting Kit and Candle Safety Globe.’
He believes support from the State to local manufacturers could lead to the creation of an entire industry for outboard motors in Ghana to create many jobs for the youth.
By Melvin Tarlue