The Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen has downplayed criticisms over government decision to support existing companies and list the same as part of One District One Factory (1D1F) projects.
He said government believes in order to promote rural industrialization such companies must be supported.
“I’m happy also that they are making an appeal in front of the media because you often hear people seemingly suggesting that 1D1F companies should not be about existing companies. I have been trying to understand the psychology behind that.
“You want to promote rural industrialization, you have an entrepreneur or business person who has already even taken the lead ahead of you and done his or her own investment, so that company is helping to fulfil part of your dream so how can you then deny that person, the assistance that you are professing to provide to stimulate industrial development. So what our brother is saying here should address the issues that have been debated now about 1D1F supporting existing companies.”
The Minister said this when he visited Joy Industries at its headquarters in Akwadum in the Eastern Region on Monday. The once vibrant alcoholic beverage company is now on its knees due to financial challenges caused by lack of access to loans due to the banking clean up exercise.
The CEO of the Company Dr. Manfred Takyi explained to the Minister that the Company has laid off many workers as a result of the difficulty it is going through hence appealed to Government to adopt the company into its 1D1F program.
“Looking at the system we are in now, we started this business from a very humble beginning but through hard work and perseverance, we were able to grow beautifully from where we started. We got to a point where we realized that as a business entity you need more capital to expand.
“We did everything in our capacity to achieve that goal. In course of that, we approached some of the banks for financial assistance of which they accepted”.
“We were able to do the expansion in case we were to supply the West African market we will have that capacity in doing so. It got to a point we needed capital for production where we can easily produce. Unfortunately, on our part, the banks that we were dealing with were affected by the clean-up in the financial sector.
“Our prayer now is that the government will support us immensely. We are located in a remote area, yet we still produce good and quality products for people to consume. We are pleading with the government to come to our aid because we want to create more employment for people.
“We are pleading that the government will infuse our company in the 1D1F program, by so doing we can create more employment for the unemployed.
Mr. Alan Kyerematen said a company that was employing over 1,000 people cannot be looked on to fold up, therefore, assured the management of the government’s commitment to support the company.
“The Company has applied for 1D1F status, we have done an extensive review of the company’s performance over the years, and for me, our decision to support the company is validated by this visit. They’ve also told me their products are unique because there are other companies that are doing the same products but are using flavours imported from other countries.
“What I think sets this company apart is the fact that they’re doing extract from the herbs and using that as the base for their products. Which is very commendable.”
Mr. Kyeremanten continued “ they are doing their product extraction from local herbs. This means that almost all their raw materials are procured locally which is another reason why 1D1F is pleased to support a company like this. This Company has demonstrated that they deserve the government’s support,” He affirmed.