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General News of Monday, 30 September 2019

Source: thechronicle.com.gh

Gov’t orders state institutions to procure locally made toilet roll

In a move to support indigenous companies that manufacture toilet rolls in the country, the government has ordered all state-owned institutions to procure toilet rolls from such local companies.

The move, which is expected to take effect from the next procurement cycle, was announced by the Vice President, Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia, on Thursday, September 26, 2019.

He said Ghana now has the factories to produce the toilet rolls needed in the country, thus no need to import.

Talking about how local companies could be supported, Dr Bawumia said the government would use its procurement powers.

“Given the success of the One District, One Factory (1D1F), government, as we stated in our manifesto, is going to use the power of its procurement to support local industries.

“So, we are saying that from the next procurement cycle, all government institutions, whether it’s the military, or the police or the hospital or the schools, if you are going to buy toilet rolls, all the toilet rolls must be bought locally produced. So we are using the taxpayer’s money to support local companies,” he remarked.

Explaining why the decision would help indigenous manufacturers, he said that the importation of toilet roll for last year was about US$70 million, a development he expressed worry over.

Disclosing the government’s decision to the media, the Vice President juxtaposed the cost in the importation of toilet roll to President Akufo-Addo’s vision to move the country from importation to industrialisation, to conclude that the move would help grow the economy.

“The vision of the President is for us to move away from the export of the primary commodities to the manufacturing of these commodities. And this is the background of1D1F,” he added.

He believed once the importation of toilet roll is plugged, the country would be able to save on scare foreign exchange, grow local industries, and create jobs.

According to the Vice President, one of the achievements under the 1D1F is the manufacturing of toilet roll.

He said that the Akufo-Addo-led government met nine toilet roll manufacturers when it assumed office, but has added five, bring the number to fourteen.

Vice President Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia was on a visit at the Nsawam Prison, where a toilet roll manufacturing company has been set up.

He commended the Prisons Service and Brompton Portolio for the collaboration, describing it as a unique venture – to use the labour of the inmates.

The company was recently commissioned under the One District, One Factory (1D1F) programme.

Speaking to the media, James Topp Yankah, Founder and Managing Director, Brompton Portfolio, producers of Softex toilet roll, was grateful for the support from the government, particularly the announcement for state institutions to purchase locally made toilet papers.

According to him, the quality of the product that they “are producing is really amazing.” He added that the company was in partnership with the Ghana Prisons Service.

Explaining why the partnership with the Prisons Service, the Founder noted that their project was of a socioeconomic profit, one that has to benefit society.

“We are ensuring that 30 percent of our profits go towards the rehabilitation of the Ghana Prisons Service. We believe that this is the most sustainable way of coming up with revenue to support the prison.

“We believe that going forward, government institutions will support. This is an appeal to the state-owned procurement heads, because we are offering our products at a reasonably lower cost, as opposed to third parties, and it’s far cheaper than the imported products.

“What they need to realise is that we are a company that believes in socioeconomic projects, and once we get the necessary support, we are also going to be supporting a lot of social causes in Ghana, and that is the focus of the company,” he stated.

The company patronises the labour of 14 inmates, who run shift on a daily basis, and who are carefully selected by the Prisons Official.

A day, the company manufactures 25,000 pieces of toilet roll, which translates into 2,500 packs.

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