Policy think tank, IMANI Africa has challenged the Akufo-Addo government to learn from the failure of several factories in the country as it launches its flagship One-District-One-Factory programme today [Friday] with the Ekumfi Pineapple factory.
When the Mahama government was reviving the Komenda Sugar factory in the Central Region, IMANI raised issues with the viability of the project.
At the time, it warned that the $35 million earmarked for the project was not enough and will lead to commissioning challenges.
It also said that it will take not less than 1,000 hectares of land to produce enough sugar cane to make the project viable.
IMANI cautioned that the projections the factory will make an annual gross sales projections of $20 million dollars were not realistic, and that the investors were merely seeking to justify the under-capitalization of the business, by inflating the cash flow expectations.
About two weeks ago, the deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Robert Ahomka Lindsay said the Komenda Sugar Factory will idle longer than expected, as a myriad of challenges including the lack of raw materials have stalled full operations.
A recent Citi News report revealed that frustrated sugar cane producers have resorted to selling their produce to akpeteshie brewers.
Less than a year after its commissioning, the factory has been shut down, crushing the hopes of sugarcane growers in the region.
As the One-District-One-Factory commences, IMANI’s founding President, Franklin Cudjoe stressed that Akufo-Addo government could not afford to oversee another round of factory collapses.
“…whenever a government wants to get into the business of doing business, they’ve got to be mindful that, first of all, they are not applying their personal funds. They are applying the funds of the public and some amount of analysis is very much needed before we get on with debt.”
“So as the new government embarks on its one district, one factory, all we have said is they should look to the things that have happened to the previous factories, right from the Nkrumah days, up until now… and to fix those problems before we embark on such journeys.”
The Akufo-Addo government has indicated its intent to partner the private sector in its industrialisation project and Mr. Cudjoe expressed hope that “they will allow the private sector to have the managerial prowess to be able to determine the viability of the enterprises the One-District-One-Factory is supposed to span.”
Source: Ghana | Citifmonline