Lack of basic amenities and infrastructure affects mechanics – Report

A research conducted in the operations of mechanics in the country indicates that lack of basic amenities and infrastructure affects their performance.

Mr Michael Mensah, a Consultant who disclosed this said the report noted that the problem associated with basic social amenities and infrastructure permeated through all established garages in the country.

He was addressing members of the Pioneers Fitters Association, an association of mechanics operating at the Light Industrial Area at Berekum in the Brong Ahafo Region at a day’s workshop on Tuesday.

The workshop on the theme “Improving Facilities at Berekum Light Industrial Area, Magazine” was to address challenges facing the members.

It was sponsored by the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge (BUSAC) Fund.

Mr Mensah pointed out that in the 1960s the Government decided to establish garages to solve the nuisance of mechanics scattered around urban centres but failed to provide the needed basic amenities and better road infrastructure for their operations.

“The operations at the Pioneer Magazine are not different from others since they lacked basic amenities such as water, electricity, place of convenience and a better road network for their operations.”

He noted that the problem had affected their income because most vehicle owners did not engage their services due to the poor nature of the road network in the area.

Giving statistics, Mr Mensah said the total income generated by the mechanics within a year ranged from GHc2,520 to GHc3,600 indicating a monthly income of about GHc120 which was a peanut.

He noted that their incomes were generated from minor repairs such as maintenance and not major rehabilitation and overhauling, and that their daily income of GHc10 to GHc25 realised from their customers.

“Out of this amount the mechanics pay an artisan fee of GHc12 and income tax of GHc200 monthly, which means they do not make any profit from what they earn,” he added.

Mr Mensah called on the Berekum Municipal Assembly to fulfil its promises made to the Association.

In an open forum, Mr Samuel Adoboe, a representative of GIZ said the Department of Urban Roads was in distress with regards to funds because funds for their operations were from the road tolls and petroleum taxes.

However, he expressed concern about the politicisation of the petroleum tax and appealed to the Government to take a firm decision with regards to taxes in the national interest.

Mr Adoboe advised members of the Association to form a developmental agency to dialogue and access funds from other avenues like the Urban and District Development Grants.

In addition, they could develop ideas on climate change such as reducing emissions through their activities to enable them access funds from the Climate Change Fund.

Mr Kwabena Kyere, Presiding Member for the Assembly advised the members to make efforts to initiate some developmental projects on their own and seek assistance from the Assembly.

He said the Assembly could not single handedly execute all development projects in the area, but gave the assurance that rehabilitation work on their road network would be undertaken.

Nana Ofori Appiah II, Krontihene of Berekum urged the media to be circumspect in their reportage to ensure a peaceful Election 2012. GNA

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