Government is committed at retooling GRATIS Foundation across the country to produce quality technology-driven equipment to facilitate government’s industrialization agenda and provide skills training and job opportunities to the teeming youth.
According to the agency, obsolete equipment and low staffing of GRATIS Foundation training centres across the country is hindering its core mandate to produce the needed Agro-equipment and other metal-related products for industries and enterprises.
Chief Executive Officer of GRATIS Foundation, Kofi Adjei Ntim disclosed this in Bolgatanga during a working visit to the Upper East Regional GRATIS Foundation center, which was established in 1996 to manufacture and market appropriate technology-based products and services for Micro, Small and Medium enterprises to facilitate socio-economic and industrial development in Ghana and has since not seen any retooling and rehabilitation.
He said the government is currently auditing all equipment of GRATIS centres for retooling.
“It is true some of our machines are obsolete, so we are here to assess and do a real audit of the machines that we have in order to see those that we can fix and those we can trash so that, we can discuss with the board and the Ministry of Trade and Trade to find resources to retool these centres.”
He further hinted that; his outfit is liaising with the Finance Ministry to recruit personnel to fill vacant positions.
“We have a real problem with staffing. Already we have our RTI who do not have their full staff compliment and we are bringing on five new ones. So, we have written to the government through the Public Services Commission and if the go-ahead is given, we are ready to employ all manner of people to fit into the various vacant areas to give us the full complement of staff to be able to do what is expected of us.”
Regional Training Manager of GRATIS Foundation, Andrew Abuska says, retooling the facility and increasing the staff strength which stands at seven, will position the facility to produce modern equipment for government industrialization programmes.
“We manufacture al lot of Agro-processing equipment here and also provide skills training to students of Technical Universities and residents who are interest in fabrication works.”
“But due to obsolete machines and low staffing, we are unable to produce to meet the demands of our customers, so, we are hoping that government to get us reliable machines that are energy efficient and can do very effective jobs”.