Vice President John Dramani Mahama assisting Nii Borketey Ansuade, Baatsona Mantse to cut the ribbon to signify the commissioning of the locally assembled DONGFENG multi-purpose trucks.

Vice President John Dramani Mahama, on Saturday, out-doored locally assembled DONGFENG multi-purpose vehicles in Accra, and called on Ghanaians to give a helping hand in encouraging the youth to set up and run their own business.

“We must continue to spark the entrepreneurial skills in our people. In the past, any young person who finishes school believes that somebody must employ him. Indeed, what we are telling young people is that you can set up a business too and employ people. With this, you become an employer, and not an employee,” noted the Vice President in an address prior to the commissioning the vehicles.

He told the crowd that had assembled to witness the event, that since most successful people in the country did not start life the way they were today, he was of the firm belief that their steps, when followed by the youth, would also be fruitful.

“Many of the most successful people in this country did not start life the way they are today – did not start their businesses with the big banks with a big loan and a factory and everything. They also started from a small enterprise; they managed these enterprises well, and they grew their businesses well. Today, their successes are what we are all admiring across the country. You too can do it. Some of you sitting here today would tomorrow become the Zoomlion and rlg enterprises in Ghana,” the Veep noted, amidst wild applause from the crowd.

The locally-assembled DONGFENG multi-purpose vehicles come in various types. They include water tankers for the supply of water; refrigerated trucks to transport fish and meat to the various markets nationwide; trucks for mobile supermarkets, as well as trucks for carting farm produce and other goods from one place to the other.

One of the locally assemblied DONGFENG multi-purpose truck outdoored by the Vice President on display.

The vehicles, according to the manufacturers, are highly fuel efficient and specifically designed to suit the African terrain. 300 of such vehicles, The Chronicle learnt, were going to be distributed to beneficiaries under LESDEP to enhance their various operations.

The Minister of Local Government & Rural Development, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, who could not hide his joy when commenting on the programme, said, “Skeptics thought this was going to be a nine-day wonder, but today, it has come to fruition.” “LESDEP,” he noted, “has come to stay.”

According to him, the vehicles would be distributed to individuals and market women in groups, to enable them cart their produce to the markets without going through strenuous difficulties.

He said since the introduction of LESDEP, the programme had trained and given employment to thousands of people, and urged the unemployed and market women to take advantage of the opportunity beckoning on their doorsteps, to come together in groups, or form associations at the various LESDEP branches nationwide, to access the vehicles.

On his part, the Programmes Manager of LESDEP, Edem Gariba, said the robustness of the vehicles had attracted a number of offers from neighbouring countries such as Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire and Benin.

He advised beneficiaries of the vehicles to strictly to adhere to the manufacturer’s recommendations on maintenance, to prolong the lifespan of the India-made vehicles.

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