Strategic Investor for Komenda Sugar Factory Needless – Murtala
Former Deputy Minister of Trade, Murtala Mohammed has taken a swipe at the NPP Government led by President Nana Akufo-Addo over plans to seek for a strategic investor for the dormant Komenda Sugar factory.
According to Murtala, there is a GHc24 million loan facility readily available and already approved by Parliament to put the factory on its toes but the Akufo-Addo government is looking for investment elsewhere.
President Nana Akufo-Addo last week said government is currently scouting for a strategic investor to inject life into the struggling Sugar factory.
While lamenting the lack of proper planning in the implementation of the project by the Mahama administration, President Akufo-Addo gave assurances of ensuring that the factory becomes viable.
This, he believes, will bring economic relief to the area.
“The previous plan that established is not the best. Those who started it could not complete it, and that is why we came to meet staggering dent and an idle factory,” he said.
But speaking to Citi News last Friday, Murtala Mohammed said: “There is nothing wrong with the factory, the only thing that is wrong with the factory is the recklessness of this [NPP] government.”
He explained that, while putting up the project the NDC government, “went in to take two tranches of a loan facility at the Indian EXIM bank.”
The former Deputy Minister said the first tranche was used to build the factory adding that they tried accessing the second tranche of the loan facility which was GHc24 million.
“In October 2016, Parliament approved that loan facility and we kicked started the process to access the money before we went for the 2016 election. We don’t need any strategic investor and that epitomizes how confused this government is. What we should be asking is that why hasn’t this government accessed that GHc24 million dollars to be used for the production of the sugar cane.”
“…The moment President Nana Akufo-Addo was sworn in, I don’t think it should have taken them more than three months to access the GHc24 million dollars. And they’ve not done that,” he added.
About Komenda Sugar factory
The $35 million factory remains dormant, due to a lack of funds.
It was closed down in June 2016, barely a month after then-President John Mahama commissioned it.
It was expected to be producing about 1,250 tonnes of sugar each day.
The factory, at its full capacity, can, in a year, produce 97% of the nation’s sugar needs, representing 250,000 tons.
Following the closure, the factory had to sell sugarcane at its 125-acre seedling plantation to distillers of the local alcoholic beverage popularly known as ‘akpeteshie.’
Sugarcane farmers who had hopes of cultivating of supplying the Komenda Sugar factory have also been compelled to sell to producers of akpeteshie.