Zoomlion’s contribution to national development laudable — Nii Lantey
The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Nii Lantey Vanderpuye, has expressed strong reservations about what he described as exaggerated reportage of the recent infractions committed by the Liberian subsidiary of Zoomlion Ghana.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic, Nii Vanderpuye, who is also the Member of Parliament for Odododiodoo, said the company had no problem with its operations in Ghana but rather offered services that promoted the development and well-being of the people and the country.
He was commenting on the World Bank’s decision to ban the Liberian subsidiary for two years for alleged bribery.
The company was cited in a World Bank report to have paid bribes to facilitate contract execution and processing of invoices in respect of an emergency Monrovia urban sanitation project being financed by the World Bank.
But the minister said the government of Ghana had great admiration and respect for Zoomlion for its exemplary expansion in other African countries, which meant the creation of jobs for thousands of Ghanaians.
He asserted that the company employed more than 200,000 people in Ghana and also contributed immensely to the management of waste and environmental sanitation in Ghana and other parts of the continent.
The performance of the company, he said, was evident in the numerous awards it had received, both locally and internationally, from bodies including Ernst and Young and PricewaterhouseCoopers, both internationally acclaimed institutions.
Nii Vanderpuye also recounted the exploits of the company when Ghana hosted the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) which made the country extremely proud, paving way for the company to win a contract in Angola for the 2010 AFCON.
He stated that the government would not condone any act of corruption but would rather reprimand offenders and put measures in place to ensure that those acts were not repeated.
‘We’ll support them to uphold high moral standards. Most of the time, we see these businesses as private, but the truth is that they are carrying the image of the country. What we will do is continue educating our businesses on acceptable best practices in international business,’ the MP asserted.
He advocated a code of ethics to guide Ghanaians businesses, especially those operating in international circles.
According to him, the code would ensure that all companies adhered to international best practices as they engaged in international transactions.
To prevent a recurrence of the situation, the Deputy Trade Minster said the ministry would look at organising seminars and workshops, in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, on international best practices in business.
He said if there were infractions, what the country needed to do was to develop the necessary measures to avert the recurrence of those acts.
He, however, cautioned against what he described as over concentration on the matter, as it had the tendency to cripple local businesses.
‘It is not an issue of Zoomlion but all entrepreneurs. This is just one of the entrepreneurs. They create opportunities and jobs for our people and beyond and so if they find themselves in situations such as this, we must find ways to identify their limitations and help them overcome it,’ he added.
He said the fact that Zoomlion Ghana was doing business in countries such as Zambia, Togo and Angola and had no challenges in those countries meant the Liberia case was an isolated one.
Nii Vanderpuye said Zoomlion had won many awards, such as Best Entrepreneur in Environment and Sanitation for 2010, Most Marketing-oriented Company for 2010 by the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Ghana (CIMG), Leadership in Waste Management Service in Ghana and the Millennium Excellence Award for Leadership in Industry, adding that the government and Ghanaians regarded the company highly as a partner in development.
By Seth J. Bokpe/Daily Graphic/Ghana
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