Trade and Industry Minister, Mr. Alan Kyerematen, has said factories to be built under the ‘One District, One Factory’ policy initiative by the NPP are not to be owned by the State and will partake in commercial activities as legal entities created by private investors.
“When we talk about one factory in every district, this is not to mean that government is going to establish State enterprises,” the minister stressed.
“Because we all know the fate of State enterprises. All the State enterprises that were established many years ago where are they now? So getting the State to establish industries or enterprises in Ghana has not been sustainable, it means that, what the government is doing is rather to encourage the private sector to establish these factories and then government will support them.”
Speaking at the National Policy Submit in Tamale, he added that the One District, One Factory programme has a “critical distinction” in concepts, requiring the “participation and enthusiasm of business people to make it work, unlike the Free Senior High School, Planting for Food and Jobs, National Health Insurance, which are fully funded by government.”
“So unlike other government programme where government actually in the driver’s seat and government is using its own resources to fund its programme – Free SHS, Plating for Food and Jobs, National Health Insurance, this ‘One District, One Factory’ is very different”.
“So when people start asking where are your factories, the explanation is that it’s supposed to be a partnership between government and then the private sector,” Mr. Kyerematen cleared.
The Minister rejected suggestions of lack of investor interest by critics, suggesting that though some 700 business proposals had been received since 2017, government is in different stages of efforts to make the initiative feasible but also cautioned people not to expect the factories “to spring up overnight”.
“For us to appreciate how long it takes for a factory to be established, my brothers and sisters, if you decided to built your house, a house to accommodate yourself, not a factory how long does it to take. Sometimes one year, two years, three years,” Alan stated.
“Even if you have money and you go to a shop that you want to buy a factory, you will not be able to get the factory to buy from the shop; you will have to first have a document that tells you what kind of equipment and machinery, that alone can take probably another six months, for you to build the factory itself it may take another one, one and half year, so please we need a lot of patience”.
He said the only role government will play in setting up these factories is to facilitate access to financial credits and infrastructures.