Ghanaian leaders, since Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, albeit arguably, have agreed that industrialization remains the best transformational instrument of the economy from a raw material-based into a value-added industrial one, the reason the industrial sector needs particular attention.
But for the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), out of total borrowings of $18 billion in the last 7 years, to invest less than an unsatisfactory $150 million in the industrial sector of the economy, should give Ghanaians a reason to worry. It is, therefore, in order, that the people of this country re-think their jubilatory moods towards the newly-commissioned Komenda Sugar Factory in the Central Region, which creates the impression as though government is at its best to better the lot of its people.
While the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) commends the current administration for the resurrection of the sugar factory, which it divested in 1998 under ex-President Jerry John Rawlings, the elephant family believes the NDC’s effort at industrialization leaves much to be desired.
Sharing in the joy of the factory, originally built in the 1960s by Dr Kwame Nkrumah, the party said: “The establishment of the new factory is commendable, and offers new hope that Ghana may still make good on its potential to produce sugar.”
Besides, the party expressed the view that the potential of the factory, if fully realized, would result in the creation of jobs, the saving of millions of dollars that would, otherwise, go into sugar importation and also increase Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product.
That notwithstanding, the Communications Director of the NPP, Nana Akomea in a press release signed and copied to The Chronicle, reinforced the party’s position: “President Mahama and the NDC government’s commitment to value added industrialization and transformation of the Ghanaian economy is very disappointing.”
According to Nana Akomea, the NDC had since 2009 borrowed $18 billion, in addition to about $3 billion from oil receipts since 2010, but chose to invest a paltry sum in the sector that would create jobs for the people.
“The government’s quantifiable investment into direct industrialization seems to be limited to the $20 million invested into the shoe production factory in Kumasi, the about $30 million invested into the Pharmaceutical industry and the 35 million invested into the Komenda sugar factory,” he said.
He further explained: “Give or take other sundry investments into other industries, it seems the government has only invested not more than a paltry $150 million into direct industrialization and /or support for industry, out of total borrowings and oil receipts in excess of $20 billion in the last 7 years. This is a meager 0.75%.”
As far as transformation is concerned, the NPP is convinced President Mahama has not lived up to expectations, after promising Ghanaians of his party’s commitment to value addition and industrialization to achieve the desired paradigm shift and transformation of the economy, with its positive effects on sustainable youth employment, stable economy and growth.