Government has been advised to shelve an ambitious industrialization plan after several deadlines to roll them out have been missed.
IMANI Ghana President Franklin Cudjoe said government has been struggling to fulfil the key 2016 campaign promise because the policy was not well thought out.
“Propaganda during elections does not equate to reality,” he said on Tuesday evening news analysis show PM Express.
This was after the government said it “for the avoidance of doubt” did not promise to build a factory in each district but rather roll out an “even spatial spread of industries”.
The district industrialization programme to create jobs is to be achieved in collaboration with the private sector.
Photo: National Coordinator of One District One Factory Program, Gifty Ohene Konadu
Government indicated in July 2018, there will be a pineapple processing factory in the Ekumfi District, a pineapple and orange processing factory in the Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem (KEEA) municipality, a cassava starch processing factory in the Fanteakwa District.
There are also plans for a cashew processing factory in Tema, a fruit processing factory in the West Akim District, a shea butter processing factory in the Accra metropolis, an avocado processing factory in Ningo-Prampram and the cultivation and processing of sweet potato into bread, chips and biscuit in Gomoa West.
In the manufacturing and distribution of pharmaceuticals, three factories have been marked for the Nsawam-Adoagyiri municipality, the Accra metropolis and the Suhum District.
Information minister-designate Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said last Tuesday, “18 factories have been accredited so far” by government which is also expecting to accredit an additional 50 before the year ends.
The minister said government has secured funding from 10 financial institutions commit close to 4.5bn cedis to private business partners to the industrialization programme.
The new update by the minister does not change the old reality that no factory is yet to produce anything almost two years into the Akufo-Addo government despite several deadlines.
The use of the word “accredited” in relation to factories has become a source of confusion, Ketu South NDC MP Fiifi Flavi Kwetey told the host of the show Evans Mensah.
IMANI Africa President Franklin Cudjoe said the use of the word accreditation means the government is still preparing to roll out the President’s showpiece political promise.
Remaining unimpressed with the latest update on the industralisation plan, the policy analyst observed, the narrative on the industrialization plan has been changing.
Giving what he described as a default position, Franklin Cudjoe said government will be better off by “simply looking out for factories that are probably struggling already and then decide to give them what help they need’.
Government can also focus on improving the factors of production like land access, road network it will spur private individuals to ‘seize opportunities’ and set up factories.
He gave an example of how a steel factory was set up by private business following a marked decrease in electricity tariff. “If the economic environment wills it, you probably don’t have to do anything [to industrialise]”, he said and pointed to improving business-friendliness in Ghana.
“You cannot legislate factories into being. People have to decide where they want to put factories”, Franklin Cudjoe said.
The Akufo-Addo government faces similar political risk his predecessor John Mahama faced in his attempt at industrialization. The Komenda Sugar factory in the Central region failed to produce sugar for commercial purposes after government sunk $35m in loans from India.
Photo: The Komenda Sugar factory
IMANI criticising the Mahama government over the Komenda Sugar factory said it will produce more propaganda than sugar because it was not grounded on sound business model.
NDC MP and former deputy Finance minister under the Mahama government observed the Akufo-Addo government’s industrialisation plan is “a situation of shooting first and aiming second”.
That criticism is a rephrase of the same rebuke which the Mahama administration faced after analysts said politics not economics influenced the building of the Komenda Sugar factory.
The factory built by first President Kwame Nkrumah and shortly revived under Mahama in May 2016 collapsed before December 2016 general elections.
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