After more than two hours of grilling of the Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen, by Members of Parliament on Wednesday, the minister could not give timelines on the implementation of the One District, One Factory policy.
The minister responding to questions filed by the Member of Parliament for Yapei-Kusawgu, John Jinapor on how government intends to rollout the much-anticipated project, he said that due to financial and logistical constraints government was not in a position to tell the House exactly when the first factory would be commissioned.
“Mr Speaker because the project is a Public Private Partnership, the onus greatly lies on individuals or private companies to take the first step for government to support.
“Government has outlined the policy framework and as it stands now, it will be a PPP project so it is the private sector that must take the initiative,” the trade minister disclosed.
Pressed further, Mr Kyerematen said his outfit was struggling to lay hands on the required funds to kick start the project to pull the private sector along.
On whether a single factory had been officially commissioned by his ministry under the programme, Mr Kyerematen was emphatic in his responds, saying “Government is yet to officially open the first factory” provoking a reaction from the minority side of the House.
However, the minister’s admission that the factory was yet to be setup sharply contradicts the Chief Executive Officer of the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan (NEIP), John Kumah who is reported to have boasted that government has set up almost 20 factories under the programme.
According to him, the 19th factory has just been commissioned at Asutsuare in the Shai Osuduku District of the Greater Accra Region.
“We have 19 completed and commissioned factories under the 1D-1F. I, John Kumah, was present during the commissioning of the 19th factory at Asutuare and I have photos and videos to show you”, he is quoted as saying.
The governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) led by Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo promised ahead of the 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections to build a factory in each of the 217 districts across the country.
The programme is part of the Akufo-Addo-led administration’s efforts at reducing unemployment in the country.
But the main opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has accused the government of failing to fulfil that campaign promise.
The claims have attracted a storm of criticism from a section of the public who believe government is reneging on its promise of setting up factories across the country.
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