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Akufo Addo, Mahama cross fire over Komenda Sugar Factory?

It’s more like two protagonists operating two opposing soap operas with each accusing the other on same subject theme.

The revolving setting in the melodrama was the Komenda Sugar Factory, situated some few miles away from the ancient city of Komenda in the Komenda Edina Eguafo Abrem (KEEA) District of the Central Region.

The Komenda Factory has been left idle for years; but former President Mahama and his NDC claim, they renovated the factory to become operational before they left office after the 2016 elections.

The President of the Republic however, shares a contrary view; positing that nothing really concrete was done by former President Mahama's administration to keep the factory in business. So which one of the two gentlemen, is being truthful to Ghanaians?

Meanwhile, the people in the catchment area where the factory is situated, claim they are tired of the political tossing game being played by the two leading political parties over the future of the Komenda Sugar factory.

Before it current state, the Komenda factory had been the main source of employment for mostly the youth of the four paramount towns of Komenda, Elmina, Eguafo and Abrem. Significantly, the two gentlemen of the land spoke on their Central Regional tours, the state of the Komenda Factory, but as usual, not without partisan biases.

Aside the Komenda Sugar Factory dispute, the President also commissioned some completed factories under his administration’s One District, One Factory (1D1F) novelty. The former President on the other hand, was on his Thank You Tour to appreciate the electorates, who voted for him in the last 2020 elections.

But beneath that façade is the real fight over who gains the Central Region; the traditionally swing Region in any given Ghanaian elections; and the Komenda Factory served as the conduit in the political game-plan of the two gentlemen.

The former President had in an interview on Friday, October 15th, 2021 sought to correct what he termed as untruths and half-truths being peddled by functionaries of the administration, including some high profile members of government about him and the Komenda factory.

The President however, took his turn on Monday October 18th, to further reiterate NPP’s position that former President Mahama and his administration should solely be held responsible for the current state of the Komenda Sugar Factory.

The President stated categorically that the Komenda Factory, which many NDC supporters claim had been rehabilitated and therefore working at full capacity, was nothing short of a "white elephant" at the time his administration took over the reign of power.

The President made these disclosures on Eagle FM in Cape Coast. He however assured the host of the programme that his Minister in charge of Trade and Industries, Allan Kyerematen will take the factory to another level before the end of his (President's) tenure of office.

“My energetic Minister is working to get the factory running”, President Akufo Addo noted, and added, “we are told by him ( Mahama) that, that is not his way of looking at things. He will build the roof, and once the roof has been built, then he will come and then lay the foundation. You know that a house that is built this way will collapse, just as Komenda is collapsing.”

“So then, what is the way forward”? The host of the programme asked the President. This, the President answered: “First of all, it’s our inheritance. A lot of money has gone into the Komenda initiative. It is important for us; and yet nothing is happening. It was at a standstill when we came into office.”

“The way forward is what Alan Kyerematen, the very dynamic and energetic Minister of Trade and Industry has been trying to do”. Early this year, the Trade and Industry Minister told Parliament that government has almost succeeded in getting a strategic investor to get the factory running.

In his earlier interview on Cape FM, before that of the President's, the former President took up issues with NPP folks who are accusing him of building the Sugar Factory without providing for raw materials to feed the industry.

This, the former President explained “there was an arrangement in place to provide raw materials for the factory before I left office in 2017”, adding “I studied economics in school to be fully aware that a factory could not be established without making raw materials available”.

He further noted: “Before I left office, the Indian government had asked for the factory to be built and later apply for funds to support the production of raw materials”. The former President again disclosed on his Cape FM interview: “When this government came, they said sugar wasn’t their priority and so they abandoned the $26 million the Indian government asked them (NPP government) to apply for.”

“They didn’t apply and so they left it and the factory is just there. Do you think I am a fool to build a factory and I won’t make provision for raw materials? I am not that foolish” the former President declared. The $35 million worth Komenda Sugar Factory, built with an Indian Exim Bank facility, has not worked since it was commissioned in 2016.

The Sugar Factory was revamped to revive the production of local sugar to reduce the over reliance on foreign importation of sugar and to also offer jobs for the many unemployed in the KEEA district.

 

 

Content created and supplied by: RKeelson (via Opera News )

Akufo Addo Komenda Komenda Factory Komenda Sugar Factory Mahama

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