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General News of Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Source: tv3network.com

Dark shadows cast over Komenda Sugar Factory et al

The recently inaugurated Komenda Sugar Factory could become a white elephant just like many other state companies, the Founding President of IMANI Ghana has said.

He said such is the attitude of government over other viable ventures that could have given the economy a boon.

Franklin Cudjoe was speaking on TV3’s News@10 on Tuesday, August 26 over a TV3 report, which revealed the abandonment and concomitant waste at the Northern Star Tomato Factory in Pwalugu in the Talensi District of the Upper East Region.

Our correspondent reported on Monday that over 400 barrels of tomato paste have been left to go waste as a result of failure by government to find ready market for the products.

The products are from the 2010 to 2012 production, TV3’s Eva Atiboka reported.

Most of the products are breeding maggots and reptiles, she said.

The Factory was established in the 1970s but revamped in 2007.

Due to its seeming dormancy, government announced a Ghc1 million investment last year into making it a vibrant company in the Upper East Region.

That undertaking was made by erstwhile Trade and Industry Minister Haruna Iddrissu. But workers are reeling in pain over their plight.

“All what we have done since 2010 is still around,” said Osei Owusu, a technician at the Factory. “We are here to process the tomato, but the sales or its going out, we cannot talk too much about it,” he said with regret in his eyes.

All machines in the factory are in good condition and work perfectly, our correspondent observed. The juice from the cans had poured all over attracting the reptiles including snakes.

Board members of the Factory are reported to continue to receive allowances.

“To me it is not fair,” lamented technician Owusu. “It is not fair because we produce to sell to make profit but when you produce and leave the things at one place, then how do you get the money.”

The collapsing factory has pushed tomato farmers in the District out of business, as a result. The youth, mostly unemployed, are worried. They look on while the once cherished property disintegrates.

Mr Cudjoe was full of praise for TV3 for revealing the “rot”. He called on government to step up its Public-Private Partnership efforts in the northern regions by revamping the Factory pronto.

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