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General News of Tuesday, 20 September 2016


Why Komenda factory is closed down – Ofosu Kwakye

A Deputy Minister for Communications, Felix Ofosu Kwakye, has said the closing down of the Komenda Sugar factory is in line with government’s plan since its establishment, and therefore there is no cause for alarm.

In June 24th 2016, the Public Relations officer (PRO) of the Ministry of Trade, Akrasi Sarpong, confirmed to the media that the Komenda Sugar Factory was shut down for maintenance.

The confirmation raised concerns among citizens of the country especially with members of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) leading the onslaught.

Concerns pointed to an advertisement in the Daily Graphic by government, inviting strategic partners for a Public Private Partnership (PPP) for the factory.

Minority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, while addressing a press conference in Parliament described the development as a lack of planning and research on the part of government before the re-commissioning.

“Closing it down will still require the input of energy (electricity) you are not producing and you pay the workers, you are not going to lay them off. So when it comes on stream again and you have to produce, whatever is produced the overhead cost will build up even when you are not producing. It doesn’t make sense to do this, who are we deceiving?” he explained.

But responding to the issue as a panelist on the Good Morning Ghana political show on Tuesday Morning, Felix Ofosu Kwakye, indicated that it has always been told from the very beginning that after the initial test, Komenda Sugar factory will resume work in October.

On the issue of PPP, the deputy Minister opined that there is nothing wrong with government setting up a factory and inviting private participation.

He however disclosed that government has received the approval for a 24 million dollar facility from the Indian Exim bank to do a plantation for the factory to rely on it as its primary source of raw materials for production.

“For the meantime, they will rely on out- growers from the Komenda to the Shama enclave”, he added.

According to him, the projection for production annually is fixed around 7, 000 metric tons however, they want to round that up to about 20, 000 metric tons in the next term of President Mahama, to create additional 20, 000 jobs.

He pointed out that discussions are ongoing to create another factory at Salvelugu and Asutuary to bring it to the level of projection.

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