President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has expressed displeasure about the fallen cedi and has assured that his government is doing all within its reach to arrest the situation.
Addressing a ceremony held at the Tema Heavy Industrial Area, Kpone, to commission the Fujian Sentuo Ceramic Tile Factory, President Akufo-Addo, said he is aware of the anxiety there is in business circles concerning the recent depreciation of the cedi.
“I am extremely upset and anxious about it too, but I want to assure you that all efforts are being made to arrest the decline and restore the cedi to stability in order to improve the competitiveness of the Ghanaian industry and I think very soon you will be seeing the results of our policy,” Mr Akufo-Addo said.
President on FSCTF
On the 80 million-dollar Fujian Sentuo Ceramic Tile Factory, Mr Akufo-Addo said the facility is a significant investment into the economy of the country. He emphasised that the facility currently employs about 1300 Ghanaians with the hope of increasing same to about 5,000. 90% of the raw materials needed by the factory, Mr Akufo-Addo indicated, are being sourced locally from the Western and Central regions of the country. To this end, Mr Akufo-Addo urged the inhabitants of Kpone to “embrace the factory and the work that is being done in their Municipality and give the Chinese promoters of the facility their maximum support.”
Managing Director of Fujian Sentuo
In his address the Managing Director of the Fujian Sentuo Ceramic Tile Factory, Xu Ning Quan, observed that almost all the floor and wall tiles that are used in the construction industry in Ghana were, until about a year ago, imported from China, Europe and the United States of America in spite of the availability locally of over 80% of the raw materials needed for the production of tiles.
“The purpose for setting up this project is to take advantage of the situation. The varied benefits of producing wall and floor tiles locally are substantial and include import substitution and value addition,” Xu Ning Quan said.
Manufacturer of steel products in Ghana, Sentuo Steel of China, announced in 2016, its plan to open a USD 80 million ceramic tiles factory in the country. The factory construction at the time would be the first in Ghana, where the end product is imported at a high cost. In addition to the ceramic factory, the company also plans to invest about USD 60 million in another cement factory in the country in the near future. Sentuo Steel was established in Ghana in 2010 and began operations in 2012 after acquiring the former Wahome Steel Factory. The Chinese owners hold 75 per cent shares, while Ghana’s Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) holds 25 per cent.