Forensic audit has established that the cost of construction of the Komenda Sugar Factory, was bloated by US$12 million and President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has hinted of criminal prosecution of former government officials.
The forensic audit report has been submitted to the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO), which has since written to the Attorney General for further investigation for possible prosecution.
President Nana Akufo-Addo said this in an interview he granted to a local radio station in the Central Region, where he is on an official working visit to engage with the people to learn at first hand their pressing needs and concerns.
The factory built and inaugurated amid fanfare in May 2016, by the Mahama-led government, has not been operating, largely because of the lack of the required raw material – sugarcane to feed it.
A team of experts, academia and independent sugarcane industry consultants, in a technical audit report, said a test run was never completed before the factory’s inauguration, because of insufficient sugarcane.
Besides, some vital machinery including vertical crystallizers, molasses weighing system, bagasse compressor and melt clarification had not been installed.
President Nana Akufo-Addo criticized his predecessor for the way his government went about the construction of the factory. He could not understand why they built the factory without making sure that there was adequate raw material supply.
He likened it to building the roof of a house before thinking about constructing the foundation. Doing that was wrong and not consistent with any construction principles.
He outlined plans to revive the factory and said the services of a technical partner with expertise in the sugar industry had been engaged to manage the operations of the factory.
Discussions had also been held with the traditional leaders for the establishment of sugarcane plantations to feed it. He said he was confident that the factory would start commercial production in the first quarter of the coming year.
Park Agrotech Ghana Limited, had earlier, been selected as a preferred strategic investor for the Komenda Sugar Factory but negotiations between the investor and the Transaction Advisor delayed unduly culminating in the termination of the negotiations by the Trade and Industry Minister, on September 1st, this year, for the inability to satisfy the conditions precedent to the offer made.
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