Kojo Oppong Nkrumah
A total of 18 factories under the One District, One Factory (1D1F), the flagship programme of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration, have been accredited to commence operations.
Minister of Information-designate, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, made this known to the media at a press conference yesterday in Accra.
He said “an additional 50 are expected to be accredited before the end of this year, and this will bring to almost 70 the number of 1D1F projects by the end of this year 2018.”
The accredited factories, he said, are spread across the Central, Eastern, Ashanti, Northern and Greater Accra Regions.
Mr. Oppong Nkrumah said President Akufo-Addo, whose vision is to comprehensively industrialize Ghana through the 1D1F initiative, has inspected a good number of the factories that had been accredited.
About 10 financial institutions have committed about GH¢4.5 billion in loanable funds to prospective venture capitalists under the 1D1F programme.
Giving a breakdown of the institutions, he stated that Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB) has committed about GH¢1 billion, Universal Merchant Bank (UMB) about GH¢440 million, United Bank for Africa (UBA), GH¢880 million, Ecobank about GH¢150 million, adb about GH¢200 million, EXIM Bank about GH¢1.7 billion
The Information Minister-designate explained that “the 1D1F programme is aimed at developing industries in the districts of this country, at least starting with a factory in each district.”
He added that “It’s a paradigm that seeks to create jobs at the local level and to bring many benefits, including jobs, income and local development.”
He seized the opportunity to clarify some ‘misconceptions’ about the 1D1F programme and government’s role in the implementation of the programme.
According to him, “Now for the avoidance of doubt, the NPP’s commitment is on page 43 of the party’s manifesto, and I just want to quote it so that we know the premise on which we are working, and the premise is that in collaboration with the private sector, the NPP will implement the 1D1F Initiative. The District Industrialization programme will ensure an even special spread of industries.”
The minister indicated that “sometimes we come across people who make the argument that the NPP said it will build factories in each district but our manifesto’s commitment is clear for the avoidance of doubt.”
He stressed that “it must be stated that government has not said that it will or the state will build these factories on its own. We have insisted consistently that we will work with the private sector, we will collaborate with the private sector, we will facilitate the work of the private sector in building these factories.”
As part of government’s contributions to the attainment of the programme, he told BUSINESS GUIDE that government was providing some incentives to players in the private sector who are seeking to build factories under the programme.
“Government is giving tax incentives, facilitating the provision of equipment or machinery and also working hard to make finances available to the private sector players who are interested in taking up some projects under the initiative, he said.
He reiterated government’s commitment to working closely with the private sector in order to create more jobs and provide economic opportunities for Ghanaians.
By Melvin Tarlue