The Book Binders Association-Ghana has expressed concern over high cost of operations due to the rising inflation in the country, and threatened to halt the printing of exercise books.
Addressing journalists in Accra on Wednesday, the chairman of the association, Kwame Appiagyei, hinted of a nationwide strike, if their concerns were not addressed.
He said the planned strike was hinged on the high cost of raw materials for book production, importation of finished notebooks and exercise books, non-existing incentives for the industry and high import and taxes on bulk printing.
“We are aware of the polices put in place by government to educate the Ghanaian child, such as the free education policy, including technical education. But with the recent high cost of commodities including bulk paper and books, which is one of the primary products for education, it will then be very difficult to sustain the free education policy.”
“As at today a realm of 90gm is costing between GH¢ 690.00 and GH¢850.00, a realm of news print is GH¢ 320.00 and GH¢ 400.00, an exercise book or note one without cover is GH¢ 2.20. It is very difficult to work with this high cost of materials to produce affordable books for both public and private schools,” he stated.
Mr Appiagyei claimed that the government had failed to factor the Association in policy interventions and stressed on the provision of more incentives for importers, provision of appropriate loan scheme for members, provision of a quota of exercise books and note books to procure from the association and restrict on the importation of finished notebooks and exercise books into the country.
He called on the government to act to address the concerns of the association and bring back the hope and prosperity of its members.
BY BENEDICTA GYIMAAH FOLLEY