President John Dramani Mahama on Friday appealed to Ghanaians to change their unbridled taste for foreign goods and switch to made-in-Ghana goods.
The change, he said, would reduce importation of goods and services and create jobs for indigenous industries and people throughout the country.
President Mahama made the appeal when he addressed students of the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) in Tarkwa as part of his three-day working visit to the Western Region.
During his tour of the region, President Mahama would initiate new projects, inaugurate completed ones and inspect on-going projects in each community of the region.
He would also use the occasion to thank the people of the region for voting for him in the 2012 general election.
President Mahama said the current state of generating GH¢ 13 billion and spending GH¢17 billion a year on importation of goods which could have been produced in Ghana was having a severe financial toll on the economy, and called on the indigenous industries to step up and improve on their production levels to win Ghanaians.
He said Government would shift from the tradition that had, over the years, made Ghana an exporter of raw materials and an importer of finished goods.
He said Government, through the Ministries of Education and Employment and Labour Relations, was carrying out a research programme to ascertain the real recruitment drive of entrepreneurs after which training programmes would be tailored towards that direction.
The President said the UMaT students were technically inclined and could, therefore, take up certain responsibilities in the mines and other mining engineering positions and advised other universities to switch from their traditional courses to science and technology that could fast earn them jobs.
President Mahama said the Government had signed the Local Content Bill and would, therefore, need technical experts in mining and oil and gas to take up key responsibilities in those industries.
He urged the students to add value to their training to fit into the job market.
He said Government was liaising with the Chinese Government to provide them with the technical expertise and technology to reclaim all the depleted lands as a result of small scale illegal mining.
Professor Samuel Yaw Kumah, Vice Chancellor of UMaT, said the institution was currently researching on coconut shells to be used for activated carbons that would reduce the importation of the commodity into the country.
He said the university was consulting with members of the Association of Small Scale Miners to regulate the practice and stem illegal mining throughout the country.