Majority Leader, Alban Bagbin, has stated that it would be in the interest of the nation for institutions to import wood furniture to save the nation’s depleting forest reserves.
Mr. Bagbin was defending the decision of the parliamentary service board to import furniture and other office equipment for the Job 600 office complex for MPs.
The house came under heavy criticism over its decision to import furniture from China for the main chamber of Parliament.
However, Joy News has learnt that furniture and other office wares for the Job 600 complex were also procured from China and Italy despite bids submitted by local manufacturers.
Alban Bagbin told Joy News’ Elton Brobbey the local manufacturers lack the capacity to meet the demand.
He acknowledged that some local companies submitted their bids. However, he said, when they were asked about their source of furniture, they said it would be coming from China, “so I don’t know why the hue and cry” over the decision to procure furniture from China.
“Why do I have to go through an agent when I know I could get them directly at a cheaper price and that will save some money for the state? That is what happened,” he remarked.
Mr. Bagbin further noted that Ghana’s forest has dwindled since independence, and something urgent must be done about it.
“In any case it is in the interest of our country to conserve our forest, you know some of the species we don’t have again. As well, it is not like independence: when I hear people talk about even at independence we could produce this why now we can’t. The forest cover at independence is not the same as today.”
The decision has come as a shock to the furniture manufacturers association.
The President of the Wood Workers Association of Ghana Raynold Debrah told Joy News it is “unfortunate” the state always imports furniture from outside and uses the inability of some local manufacturers to produce furniture in large quantity as an excuse.
Story by Ghana | Myjoyonline.com| Isaac Essel | [email protected] | twitter @isaacessel
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