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Let’s revamp legacy factories to enhance IDIF

Many of our national legacy factories across the country are ailing.

This is disheartening to many Ghanaians as it does not send the right signals about the country’s handling of national assets, nor does it help in building our collective resolve and passions in sustaining such vital state resources.


Currently being rolled out is the flagship plan of the government’s One District, One Factory policy (1D1F), to revive industrialisation and secure employment opportunities for the youth.

When he took his turn at the meet-the-press encounter on May 7, this year, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Alan Kyerematen, said the plan had enrolled 181 factories so far. Out of the 181 factories, he said, 129 were new companies, while 52 were already in existence.

Out of the 52 already in existence, it is not clear how many are the defunct factories of the independence era, when the country’s First President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, initiated the first industrial drive in setting up factories.

We easily recollect one such legacy factory: the Kumasi Shoe Factory, whose challenges the Daily Graphic reported on last week.

The Zuarungu Meet Factory in the Bolga East District, the Kumasi Jute Factory, the Komenda Sugar Factory, the Pwalugu Tomato Factory in the Northern Region and the Wenchi Tomato Factory also easily come to mind.

Several other factories, such as the Bonsa Tyre Factory at Bonsaso, South of Tarkwa that was fed from rubber plantations by the State Farms; the Tema Steel

Factory, the Abosso Glass Factory, the GIHOC Distilleries and Electronics, we concede, have all changed character now through divestitures and acquisitions.

Ghana, however, has some of the legacy factories from our independence era that can still be roped into the IDIF drive.

For instance, the Zuarungu Meet Factory can be revived to employ the youth in that area.

Indeed, many other Ghanaians, including the youth in areas where some of these factories are decaying, are hoping that they would be revived to enhance production and accelerated development.

The Daily Graphic is obligated to side with the many Ghanaians whose expectations are that the government would sooner than later revamp such defunct factories.

We believe that a special dispensation ought to be created where their viability is immediately assessed.

Subsequently, using its thrust, the Trade Ministry should facilitate strategic collaborations among private individuals and organisations that are so inclined to give these factories a second chance at surviving.

The Ministry of Finance must also step in to facilitate the financing arrangements needed to revamp these factories.

What is encouraging, though, is the call by Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia for all procurement of toilet rolls to be made from local manufacturers and for the Ghana Cocoa Board and the Ministry of Agriculture to also procure fertilisers locally, two items currently being produced by factories under the 1D1F effort.

The first call was made when the Veep toured the Brompton Portfolio’s toilet paper manufacturing factory located at the Nsawam Prisons in the Eastern Region on September 26, 2019, while the second was made a day earlier.

He explained that the directive was necessitated by the success of factories under the 1D1F plan, which now had the capacity to take on all the toilet paper and fertiliser demands of the country.

He had added during the tour that the government would also use its procurement policies to support the factories to do business.

The Daily Graphic knows that one of the cardinal principles under the policy is to locate or identify a local resource in a district around which a factory is then established.

Some blueprints, and even the infrastructural skeletal remains of some, are decaying.

Let us use them and revamp our legacy factories and by that, rekindle our passion and commitment to the industrialisation drive of Ghana.

This, we believe, will greatly help to transform the country into an economic hub of the sub-region.

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