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Politics of Monday, 20 June 2016

Source: citifmonline.com

NPP’s ‘1 district, 1 factory’ feasible – Kwaku Kwarteng

New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Obuasi West, Kwaku Kwarteng, has downplayed suggestions that the party’s ‘one district, one factory’ plan is not feasible.

The NPP MP argued that the planned fair distribution of factories is needed to curb the exodus of people from most rural areas to the urban centers.

“We think industrialization, as Nana Addo envisioned, must be even in order to correct people always having to move from many areas of the country to Accra and Kumasi, and creating problems for us in these big cities,” Mr. Kwarteng said on the Citi Breakfast Show.

The NPP flagbearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, indicated that his government would establish a factory in each of the 216 districts across the country as part of plans to industrialize the economy. According to Nana Addo, the setting up of these factories across the country will also provide solutions to the problem of unemployment in the country.

Factories will add value to raw materials Mr. Kwarteng maintained that this vision is needed if the country can overcome poverty. “In order that this country will move its people out of poverty, we need to process our raw materials into finished products for export and also to do import
substitution.”
He also explained that the size of the factories is not necessarily an issue, as every industry would eventually be expected to grow. “A small scale industry will grow to become a large-scale industry so it is really not about the size.

People have been surviving in these localities for centuries. There must be some activity that is keeping them alive. What we will be seeking to do is to bring industrialization to their activities so that more money will flow into these localities.” Private sector involvement Mr. Kwarteng stated that the NPP would not be relying on private sector involvement in the short-term.

He explained that the government would be leading in the establishment of the industries, but private sector involvement would be welcomed along the line when foundations have been established.

“NPP administration does not believe in doing business unless it is terribly necessary and the vision is that you start these activities, and as you demonstrate that they are viable, then you invite private sector people to come in and government exists and move the resources to another area.”

“Government will take the lead, and I am confident that once these projects work, the private sector will be able to take over from the government. The motivation of the private sector is profit, and so if we can demonstrate that there is profit, we are confident they will take it over.”