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Politics of Monday, 18 October 2021


Komenda sugar factory: Mahama didn’t think through the project - Buaben Asamoah

NPP director of communications, Yaw Buaben Asamoa NPP director of communications, Yaw Buaben Asamoa

Director of Communications for the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), Yaw Buaben Asamoa, believes the Komenda sugar factory commissioned by former President John Dramani Mahama in May 2016 was a ploy to win the hearts of the people of Komenda in the Central Region.

According to him, the commissioning of the Komenda sugar factory was a “419” move that has cost the people of Komenda rather than benefiting them.

Yaw Buaben Asamoa was commenting on recent allegations by the former President that the Akufo-Addo government has deliberately failed to operationalise the factory, years after its grand commissioning in 2016.

Revamped and shutdown

In May 2016, the then President of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama inaugurated the revamped Komenda sugar factory in a move by his administration to restructure the economy and create jobs. However, it was closed in June 2016 barely a month after its inauguration for lack of raw materials to feed it.

The $35 million factory, built from an Indian EXIM Bank facility, has the capacity to crush 1,250 tonnes of sugarcane per day.

Envisioned to create more than 7,000 direct and indirect jobs, the factory was revamped to revive the local production of sugar, thereby reducing the importation of the commodity, but remains shut five years after it was inaugurated.

Indian connection, vision for its operationalization

Mr Mahama, on a recent "Thank You tour" to the Central Region, accused the current government of purposefully allowing the factory to waste away, since they (NPP) could have applied for readily available funds from the Indian government to

“The Indian government offered to assist us with the project. We were to set up the factory first and later apply for a $24 million support for sugar cultivation from the Indian government. When this current government was elected, they indicated that the project was not among their priorities. Therefore, they didn’t apply for the funds.....

“I’m not that foolish to set up a factory and have no plan for the provision of raw materials. I knew what the vision was. It was to get the raw materials first, and when we start production, we would have already had a processing plant,” he added.

Mahama didn’t think through project

Reacting to this on Okay FM’s Ade Akye Abia Morning Show, Buaben Asamoa, a former Member of Parliament for Adentan Constituency discounted Mr Mahama's claims saying no such loan facility from the Indian government existed for the NPP administration to access to sustain the operations of the factory.

He also indicated that the Mahama-led administration of failing to conduct any feasibility study to ascertain whether the soil can ensure optimum growth for the kind of sugar cane needed for production.

“There must be measures in place to get the kind of sugar canes that can be used to produce the quality sugar we require and looking at the factory, we will require at least 10,000 acres of land which can be used to produce the raw materials required to power the will take 2 to 3 years to get the kind of sugar canes he [Mahama] talked about to power the factory...."

“He commissioned the factory when he had not put any measures in place to keep the factory running for the benefit of the people of Komenda. So, if John Mahama says he is not a fool, then I will tell him that he didn’t think about it carefully before commissioning the Komenda Sugar Factory because there is nowhere you can build a house when you don’t have the materials for the building”, he jabbed.