The Building and Road Research Institute (BRRI) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has appealed to the government to find means to attract private capital to the Pozzolana cement factory to complement the local building industry.
Officials of the BRRI said $4 million was currently needed to bring the factory at Gomoa to production capacity up to the current demand, particularly in the wake of recent cement price hikes.
This is besides the more than one million Ghana cedis pumped from internally generated funds so far.
The Director of BRRI, Dr Daniel Asenso-Gyambibi, told a 13-member Parliamentary Select Committee on Environment, Science and Technology during a visit to the BRRI, the Forestry Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG) and the Crop Research Institute, all under the CSIR at Fumesua, near Kumasi, that the locally discovered Pozzolana cement had the added advantage of cutting down on carbon dioxide emission and helping to promote climate-friendly construction.
Dr Asenso-Gyambibi said beyond that the factory had the capacity to create hundreds of jobs and enhance safety in the building industry.
But the Chairman of the Select Committee, Dr Emmanuel Marfo, said BRRI needed to bring a statement on Pozzolana to Parliament for a debate to influence policy decision in its promotion and preference.
More importantly, he said, there was the need to bridge the communication gap between policy and science to demonstrate its relevance in solving the socio-economic problems to the political leadership or those who control the public purse.
Dr Marfo, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Oforikrom, said the 16 agencies under the CSIR could be doing some great work but perhaps were unable to properly communicate their relevance to attract the necessary support.
“Show government that you are relevant, especially in the area of climate change,” he said.
The Deputy Director-General of the CSRI, Prof. Paul Bosu, expressed the hope that the visit by the committee would broaden the discussion on how scientific research could be financed.
He said with the understanding of how science works, the MPs would champion the financing of scientific research for national development.
The Director of CSIR-FORIG, Prof. Daniel A. Ofori, said his outfit needed to fill 296 staff positions to be able to run effectively.
He said the organisation had currently developed a number of high yielding seedlings to restore a number of degraded mine sites and to absorb the apparent heavy metals in food.
The Director of Crop Research, Dr Moses Branford Mochiah, called for greater collaboration between the government and science institutions for development.
He said science was the bedrock of development, and called for more funding to produce tailor-made research for industries.