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General News of Tuesday, 28 April 2020

Source: Ruth Aboagye, Contributor

Citizen Watch describes 1D1F secretariat as ‘toothless & powerless’

One District, One Factory is one of the flagship programmes of the NPP One District, One Factory is one of the flagship programmes of the NPP

The Citizen Watch Ghana, (CWG), has described the operations of the One District, One Factory, (1D1F) Secretariat under the Ministry of Trade and Industries, (MOTI) as “toothless and powerless”.

The 1D1F secretariat at this moment is rendered toothless because first and foremost their performance is not a Key Performance Index (KPI) for any sector or ministry. In reality, by talking to Ghanaian entrepreneurs from the Private Enterprise Federation, (PEF), Association of Ghanaian Industries (AGI), Alliance for Development and Industrialization (ADI) among others, the 1D1F secretariat only make recommendations to institutions and banks but has no power or mandate to support or follow any business through, it said in a statement.

‘So far, even for taxes and trade exemptions benefited by businesses through the ministry of trade are minimal, majority of these trade exemptions come from the Ministry of Agriculture and agro-based industry.

We are proposing that let’s make this a KPI for both government and the various sector institutions for which an authority should be set up with its mandate clearly spelt out,’ it said.

The Ghana Industrial Transformation Authority, (GITA), should establish KPIs for sectors such as agriculture, trade and industry, labour among others to serve as a check and monitor if it’s delivering on its mandate or not, for example how many jobs has 1D1F company created.

“We are appealing to the government to take into consideration this authority as we prepare for Ghana beyond COVID 19 agenda since self-sustainace is critical. The private sector should understand that the government would not just make available monies for this to happen, they need the right criteria of businessmen, even if they have to be ten to build businesses across the country, it makes sense than wasting money on other people,” it said.

In a statement issued in Accra and signed by Francis Agbenyegah, the Convener of the group, says it would be prudent for the government to change the 1D1F into Ghana Industrialization and Transformation Authority (GITA), backed by law to champion the industrialization drive of the country.

The 1D1F, currently don’t have any authority to facilitate any activities of theirs, describing it as a “reference” which has failed to have any law backing it operations. It’s just like a “white elephant” secretariat” it said.

“The government must refocus, realign and migrate the 1D1F into Ghana Industrialization and Transformation Authority, adding, “this would help the government to put checks and balances in place to monitor and evaluate the work of the authority through it key performance index,’ it said.

“Like how MASLOC is under the presidency, we are also proposing that the government should put the GITA under the presidency to champion the industrialization process of this country,” it said.

“GITA should be under the presidency with strength from the Ministries of Agriculture, Finance, and Trade and must have desk officers to deal with these companies in a timely manner. If we don’t do this, then the government has no focus in dealing with industrialization issues in this country,” it said.

“We called on Parliament to develop a policy towards the Ghana Industrialization Transformation Authority. If we have such an authority, which has pillars from the agric and trade ministries, and other sectors, it would drive the private sector as the Ministry of Trade is overwhelmed with so many issues and doesn’t have the time to concentrate on the support of industries,” it said.

“We respectful call on the President to consider our preposition for the larger interest of businesses in the country,” it said.