Akufo-Addo’s position stands; 216 factories it will be in 4 years- Mustapha makes U-Turn

06 Apr 2018
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mustapha hamid mustapha hamid mustapha hamid makes u-turn

Barely 24 hours after suggesting the government may not be able to fulfill the one district one factory policy in its tenure, the Information Minister, Mustapha Hamid has beaten a retreat.
 

Barely 24 hours after suggesting the government may not be able to fulfill the one district one factory policy in its tenure, the Information Minister, Mustapha Hamid has beaten a retreat.

In an interview with Joy News’ Evans Mensah on Top Story, Thursday, the Minister said the government’s position, which is to build one factory in each district still stands.

“The position of the president still remains,” Hamid said clarifying that his earlier interview on Asempa FM in which he suggested that government may not complete the vision of building 216 factories in for or eight years conditional.

“Yesterday, the questioner asked me what if at the end of four years we don’t finish all the factories and I said to him that even if we do not finish, this is a vision good for our country that every president can continue.

“It is not as if I said it is not something we can do…I was just granting the questioner his if clause” Hamid said.

He had only a day before courted some controversy when in an interview on Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen programme suggested the one district one factory is a vision that the government may not be able to complete in four years or eight years, adding, future governments will continue.

Members of the opposition National Democratic Congress reacted to the comments suggesting that government had hoodwinked Ghanaians with the promise to win elections.

Former Deputy Trades Minister Murtala Mohamed said the government must admit it made an impossible promise it cannot keep.

His colleague former Deputy Finance Minister Casiel Ato Forson told Joy News he is “not surprised the programme has failed.”

According to him, there has always been a problem with the structure of the policy.

“It was designed as if the budget can fund it,” he said but added Ghana’s limited revenue can only pay for interest on loans as well as salaries.

But the Information Minister in clarifying his earlier position said the government is committed to honouring its earlier promise as stipulated by the president.

The one district one factory policy was one of the key campaign promises of the government.

On winning the 2016 elections, the president Nana Akufo-Addo said 51 of the factories will be completed in his first year in office but was not to be.

He, however, dug the ground for the Ekumfi Pineapple Processing Factory in what was expected to be the beginning of the implementation of the one district one factory policy.

Checks by Joy FM’s Central Region correspondent Richard Kojo Nyarko indicate that the factory owners are yet to build physical structures at the factory ground but have grown a lot of pineapple fruits to feed the factory when it is built.

According to Mustapha Hamid, at least 70 factories have passed all the stages of approval and are ready to hit the ground.

“We are determined to fulfill our promise,” he stated.

Funding

There have been concerns about where the government will raise the money for the execution of the policy.

The government had early on sought the intervention of the Chinese government to assist in raising the necessary funding for the project.

But the Information Minister said there are challenges with the conditions of the Chinese loans. As a result, local banks have now been brought on board to fund the projects.

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