President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo yesterday inaugurated three new manufacturing plants at the Unilever Ghana Limited in Tema.
The plants are a biomass boiler which will use palm kernel shells to generate steam for factory operations, a personal care manufacturing dryer to support the personal care products manufacturing process, and an oral care plant which will ensure a timely response to market requirements and enable the company to effectively harness growth opportunities in the market.
In sum, the plants are expected to boost the production delivery of the company.
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, President Akufo-Addo commended Unilever Ghana Limited for its continued and impressive presence in the country.
Ghana News Headlines
For latest news in Ghana, visit Graphic Online news headlines page Ghana news page
He said for nearly a century, the company had partnered the state to spur economic growth.
The President urged multinational companies operating in the country to bring their capabilities to bear on national growth, especially by sourcing their raw materials locally.
“I am excited by Unilever’s decision to bring onshore its operational capabilities into the country and to continue to source locally its raw material base,” he said.
He gave an assurance that the government would continue to work to create a stable economic environment for businesses to thrive.
President Akufo-Addo said a new fiscal rule, which capped the fiscal deficit at a maximum of five per cent and ensured a debt-to-GDP ratio of a maximum of 65 per cent, had been enacted.
“We are determined to provide stability to our economy to serve as the foundation for sustainable and rapid growth,” he added.
He stressed that the days when public finances were in disarray and economic indicators went haywire were over.
While acknowledging that the ability of the government to create jobs on its own was limited, President Akufo-Addo was of the view that the creation of jobs was primarily the responsibility of the private sector but with the active support of government.
To that end, he said the three plants would not only increase the manufacturing capacity of the company but also lead to the creation of more jobs for the people of the locality and the country at large.
Hailing Unilever’s growth and contribution to national development, the President said: “Unilever has become a household name in Ghana, with millions of Ghanaians, on a daily basis, using products of the company.”
He indicated that it was to help businesses to thrive that “my government set out to build the most business-friendly economy in Africa through abolishing nuisance taxes, reduction of utility tariffs and the introduction of reforms to ease the process of doing business in the country.”
“We have succeeded, albeit modestly, in creating a conducive business climate where the macroeconomic fundamentals are all pointing in the right direction, spurring on the growth of the private sector,” he added.
President Akufo-Addo stated that the goal of the government was to unleash the innovative and entrepreneurial instincts of the Ghanaian private sector to drive rapid growth and job creation, emphasising his conviction that the government was on course to realising that important goal.
“The government I lead is a natural cheerleader for the private sector, and it is my sincere wish that Unilever, and indeed the Ghanaian private sector, will take advantage of the growing business-friendly climate in the country to invest further in Ghana,“ he said.
The President also commended Unilever for its “Unilever Sustainable Living Plan (USLP)” which works to improve the health and hygiene needs of people, reduce the environmental impact of operations and enhances people’s livelihoods.
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Alan Kyerematen commended the company for its continuous support for the country's business sector and stressed the resolve of the government to protect it and other businesses against unfair trade practices.
He urged Unilever and others in the private sector to take advantage of the wider continental market.
The Managing Director of Unilever Ghana, Mrs Gladys Amoah, in her remarks, said the company would continue to invest in state-of-the-art infrastructure and stick to its maintenance practices
She said the installation of the new plants would, among others, help reduce the country’s imports, while injecting cleaner energy into the operations of the company.