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Private investor must revamp Pwalugu Tomato Factory – Peter Ayinbisa

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The Upper East Regional Communication Director of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) is urging private investors to sink their money into revamping the Northern Star Tomato Factory, Pwalugu. Mr. Ayinbisa argued the government had created an enabling environment to help a private investor adequately run the factory.

His comments were in connection to portions of the budget that stated the government’s commitment to boosting local productive capacity.

It would be recalled that in the 2023 Budget Statement and Financial Policy, the government stated, “to boost local productive capacity, we will among others: cut the imports of public sector institutions that rely on imports either for inputs or consumption by 50% and will work with the Ghana Audit Service and the Internal Audit Agency to ensure compliance; support the aggressive production of strategic substitutes, including the list disclosed at the President’s last address to the nation; Support large-scale agriculture and agribusinesses interventions through the Development Bank Ghana and ADB Bank; introduce policies for the protection and incubation newly formed domestic industries to allow them to make the goods produced here competitive for local consumption and also for exports. To promote exports, we will among others: expand our productive capacity in the real sector of the economy and actively encourage the consumption of locally produced rice, poultry, vegetable oil and fruit juices, ceramic tiles among others.”

In Mr. Ayinbisa’s opinion, the government has no business running factories.

“Government has created the enabling environment. It is for you and I as private persons to tap into that atmosphere and see whether we would be able to establish factories for ourselves or not. Factories, largely, are not supposed to be government factories. Even the factories that were established by the Kwame Nkrumah era were sold by the PNDC.”

“So yes, it is possible that government could have said that deliberately, let me come and revamp the Pwalugu Tomato Factory or the meat or rice factory. Government could ave done that but we are creating the enabling environment for the private person to take advantage of that. Those of us in the north, we are not taking advantage of that,” he said.

It could be recalled that the impression was given that the Ministry of Trade and Industry would make a public statement on the state of the Northern Star Tomato Factory in Pwalugu in the Upper East Region. While it was unclear the exact day the statement would be made, the statement was expected to give clarity on the current state of the facility and all the processes that had been undertaken to revitalise the factory.

It would be recalled that Friday, November 19, 2021, the Upper East Regional Director of Business Resource Centre (BRC), Michael Abogoro, speaking on A1 Radio’s Day Break Upper East Show explained that plans are far advanced to ensure the operationalization of the said factory in 2022.

He said the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOTI) with support from the African Development Bank (AfDB) had sought the services of a transaction advisor to ensure the revitalization of the Northern Star Tomato Factory in Pwalugu in the Upper East Region. The Advisor had undertaken all feasibility studies while financial considerations have been settled and added that all things being equal, the Northern Star Tomato Factory will be operational this year.

Speaking about the state of the factory today, Wednesday, June 8, 2022, on the same platform, Mr. Abogoro said he was unable to divulge information relevant to the state of the factory as MoTI would make public statements about the facility soon.

“Since November last year when I made that pronouncement, the Ministry’s attention was drawn to that publication and so that Ministry would officially be speaking to that in their capacity as Ministry of Trade and Industry. I do know that they are working round the clock.”

“I do not want to share any information regarding that one as the Ministry would be making an official pronouncement on it,” he said.

The Regional Manager of the BRC continued to say he was unable to tell when the Ministry would make the statement but gave the assurance that “as soon as practicable, the Ministry would make a statement on that.”

Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana

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