Furniture was imported from China to save time – Parliament

By: Efua Idan Osam

The leadership of Parliament has explained that it imported furniture from China because it was impossible for a local company to produce the over 300 furniture pieces within a limited time.
The Deputy Majority Leader in Parliament, Alfred Kwame Agbesi stressed that Parliament in no way ignored the President’s directive to patronize made in Ghana products.
Some Members of Parliament (MPs) have expressed disappointment in the leadership of the House for refurbishing the chamber with furniture imported from China in the wake of the President’s campaign to promote locally produced goods.
Some Ghanaians took to social media to complain about government’s blatant disregard of local furniture producers.
But in parliament’s defense, Mr. Agbesi said the leadership of the house was racing against time to refurbish the chamber to accommodate the 275 MPs upon resumption on November 4.
“It is not the issue that because they say we should use made in Ghana goods, then if you want to buy 300 furniture at the end of this week, you must go from shop to shop,” he remarked.
He disclosed that the Parliamentary Service Board and the leadership of Parliament “thought that this time limit we have set for ourselves, we cannot fail and we have to deliver to get the place in use.”
“We needed over 300 chairs and 300 tables before resuming sitting and now which furniture company in Ghana would have given us this quantity of furniture within this short time?” he asked.
The Deputy Majority Leader admitted that even though there are companies in Ghana which can produce the furniture they needed, the delivery of the product would have taken place “maybe in a year’s time or in two years time.” “But we set ourselves a time limit and that is the basis upon which the Parliamentary Service Board and the leadership decided to go that way.”
Although unable to give the exact date the Chinese company was given the contract to produce the furniture, he recalled that in August, a team was sent to China to inspect and make a selection.

Furniture for Job 600
It emerged during Parliamentary proceedings on Tuesday that more furniture was being imported from China to furnish the Job 600 building complex which is to accommodate Ghanaian legislators.
According to Mr. Agbesi, before Parliament went on recess in July, some MPs suggested that lawmakers should be made to furnish their own offices after which Parliament will reimburse them.
But this suggestion, he said, was shot down because “we can’t just allow somebody to go KPOGAS, somebody to go to elsewhere. So the contract must be awarded for the quantity that is needed in the job 600… because this is going to be a uniform thing.”
He maintained that it is impossible for a single furniture company in Ghana to supply the large quantity of furniture needed to furnish the Job 600 building within a limited time.
The Deputy Majority Leader observed that MPs were anxious to occupy their office complex which has been under construction for years and this informed the decision to resort to the importation of furniture from China.
“No one company could supply the quantity at the time that all MPs want to use the place and you heard from the Speaker that very soon, even before December, this place will also be put to use because then the furniture would have been supplied,” he said.
He said if MPs are willing to wait for about five more years to love into the Job 600 building, then the contract will be given to a local company in order to adhere to the President’s directive on made in Ghana products.
“We can follow the argument of complying with the President’s plea for the patronage of made in Ghana products if all will agree that the job 600 project should wait for the next five years. But I am telling you that MPs are anxious to move into that building and there are going to be a lot of facilities over there which need furniture so we have the time to waste, we can” he remarked.

Posted by on Dec 16 2014. Filed under Community News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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