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We’re already building factories – Gov’t replies Nana Addo

Dr Edward Omane Boamah New The governing National Democratic Congress (NDC), has pooh-poohed a promise by the Flagbearer of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akufo Addo, to establish one factory in each of the 216 districts of the country, saying such factories are already under construction to employ Ghanaians and make their lives better.

 
Speaking in the Central Region as part of a 5-day tour of the region, the NPP flagbearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, said his government would establish a factory in each of the 216 districts as part of plans to industrialize the economy.
 
But the Communications Minister, Dr. Omane Boamah, also speaking at a town hall meeting in Cape Coast in the Central Region, said the NDC administration is already constructing factories for the benefit of all Ghanaians.
 
“President Mahama is not waiting for the 2016 elections to be over to begin to spread factories across the length and breadth of the nation. I have spoken about the Komenda Sugar Factory, the Fish processing factory in Elmina, the Kumasi Shoe Factory, the Fertilizer factory that is coming on board and the ceramics and tiles factory that is also taking place at the free zones enclave in the Western Region. All these have jobs associated with them and all of them are creating direct and indirect jobs,” the Minister said.
 
He further stated that, government had already initiated processes to create more factories which will subsequently lead to the creation of more jobs for the unemployed youth, ahead of the November polls.
 
“As we speak now, we have been told that the second FPSO is also being fast-tracked and may be in earlier than anticipated. What this means is that, together with the Jubilee Fields, the TEN fields and the Sankofa fields we are going to have a minimum of 300 million standard cubic feet of gas a day, which will ensure that more power is made available. This power is not just going to be consumed in our homes, but also feed industries, and that is where President Mahama hinges his integrated aluminum industry on the investment in our gas fields, because you need significant amount of power to take care of [industries such as ] Valco.”
 
NPP’s ‘1 district, 1 factory’ makes no sense – Murtala Mohammed 
 
The Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, Ibrahim Murtala Mohammed, has also laughed off the NPP’s promise of establishing factories in every district.
 
“I think sometimes in their desperation to make promises, they always forget that they have made certain statements in the past… if you want to make promises, you should be mindful that the promises won’t contradict the very position you took in the past,” the Deputy Trade Minister said in an interview with Citi News.
 
In the view of Mr. Mohammed, the party’s promise of scrapping import duties would allow for the importation of more goods, and that a will be to the disadvantage of the factories they seek to establish.
 
“Now you say the you are going to abolish all forms of taxes. It means that anybody can import anything into this country at cheaper costs because once people don’t have import duties on the goods, they bring into this country, they can bring them at will.”
 
Mr. Mohammed further indicated that he saw no prudence in an economy that offered Ghanaians both indigenous and imported goods for consumption.
 
“Those goods, if it is even true, are going to be consumed by people in Ghana and people in Ghana will then have to consume those goods alongside the goods that are imported into this country freely. It simply doesn’t make sense.”
 
‘One district, one factory’ plan feasible – NPP insists 
 
But the Member of Parliament for Obuasi West, Kwaku Kwarteng, is insisting the move is feasible.
 
He further argued that the move is necessary to curb the exodus of people migrating from most rural areas to the urban centers.