Former President Kufuor wants Jospong to continue keeping Ghana clean.
The president made those remarks at the annual Thanksgiving ceremony of the Jospong group of companies.
He recalled how, during his administration, the Jospong group took the bold initiative to clean the nation’s cities and neighbourhoods while creating jobs for hundreds of Ghanaian youth.
Enthused by the work of the company, the ex-president said his administration decided to enter into a private-public agreement with the waste management company.
“You walk our beaches which should be fine beaches, and ‘what do you see’? Open defecation, dirt, plastic bottles all over the place,” former President Kufuor said.
He added: “So when you have a conglomerate like Jospong trying to help society by removing all the dirt, yes he will make a profit, and you go in to help, it is not so much the profit you are looking to support it to do, rather it is the cleaning of the environment so we have health so people can live, so they can live the allotted life the creator gave them fully and not being killed off early through mosquitos, cholera…
“That is what our government set out to do and we were so pleased to see groups tackling the problems that used to be tackled only by district assemblies with their conservancy offices which they weren’t doing too efficiently.
“So when Jospong came on its own initiative and engaging so many young people to clean our neighbourhood and we saw it, we were startled and said ‘this is what should be happening.’”
In recent times, the company has come under criticism following allegations of corruption and excessive profit making.
President Kufuor nonetheless believes private companies are driven by profit but warned against making an undue profit.
“It was very much part of the vision and policy of my government that the government should partner the private sector to do all the jobs society needs to be done for it… and even along the way, the company will make their profit… that is the rationale for the private sector, the only thing is that government will not allow a private company to gain unconscionable profit, that one no, but if you make a legitimate profit to help society move ahead and if anybody will call it capitalism, I would say let them call it that,” he said.
According to the former President, companies will err, and when they do, government should intervene to correct them but not to collapse them.
He observed: “You would not over poverty with poverty. You need to create the wealth to overcome poverty.
“And when you have agencies like Jospong to do the work, encourage them… since this not endorsing any private company to take undue profit, not that we won’t endorse, but then government is like the proverbial mother. ‘When the child eases itself on your laps, you don’t cut the lap off, you only clean it, groom the child to do better and to know better… with that then you move ahead.”