It is the month of November in 2017, and on the Gregorian calendar, November is the penultimate month, preceding December, the closing month.
As the year inches to a close, a promise by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government to build at least 51 factories under the flagship ‘One District, One Factory’ policy before the end of 2017, seems to be winding up as a deliberate flatter to deceive.
Not even a single factory has been started by this government, which has made it an open tout that it will build 216 factories all over the country.
Damningly, even a re-cut of sod to start a process to establish a private businessman’s pineapple factory by President Akufo-Addo, which had first been cut under the predecessor Mahama government in 2013, has not led to an establishment to enable the NPP government to hire it for propaganda.
The bold promise to build 51 factories across the country had been made in August by Mr. Kwaku Gyasi, the spokesperson for the Akufo-Addo government’s ‘One district, One factory’ project.
“I’m not saying it would be completed by the end of the year, but the construction of all the 51 would have commenced by end of 2017. The construction of the first factory will commence at Ekumfi by the end of August.”
Kwaku Gyasi had made the fantastic promise in response to concerns by Ghanaians that President Akufo-Addo’s re-cut of sod to construct the Ekumfi Pineapple Factory to serve as the official take-off of 1D1F was insincere.
It has been some three months since Hon. Kwaku Gyasi made that promise and not a single factory has been started by the NPP government across the length and breadth of the country.
Rather, the government has taken to dishonest monkey business, hunting for projects that have already been started by venturesome Ghanaian entrepreneurs, like the Ekumfi Pineapple Factory project, and staking bragging rights on them.
Early last month, Volta Regional Minister, Dr. Archibald Letsa, had similarly attempted to purloin credit for the NPP government when he claimed at the 17th Congregation of the Ho Technical University (HTU) that plans were far advanced to cut sod for the construction of a starch factory in the AdakluDistrict in the Volta Region.
Dr. Letsa had claimed that the Adaklu Starch factory that the NPP government was planning on establishing would be Volta Region’s first allotment under the NPP’s 1D1F, only for it to emerge later that the project he is talking about is something that a private individual has already started.
The farmer whose name is yet unknown was said to have been approached by the NPP government and propositioned to accept a chunk of Adaklu’s share of $1million that the government intends to allocate the district under a ‘one constituency, one million dollars’ policy so he can sink it into his project.
In exchange, the NPP government is to be allowed to slap its name on the project as an achievement under the 1D1F policy.
But then, the Volta Regional Minister who had trumpeted that the Adaklu Starch Factory would be the first factory for Volta under 1D1F, had come across to many listeners as a self- contradicting confusionist. This is because, prior to that announcement at the HTU, the same Dr. Letsa had earlier in February cut sod for a Kente Village at Agortime, claiming it was Volta Region’s first reward under the same 1D1F.
Per the minister therefore, Volta Region is getting two first factories under the NPP government’s 1D1F.
Unfortunately for the Volta Regional Minister, at the Agortime ceremony, a certain Eddie Akotey had been around. Mr. Akotey who is the chairman of the Planning Committee for the AgortimeKente Village project, had made it clear that the process to start the Kente Village had started some 25 years back.
As the year 2017 ambles to an end, therefore, all that the NPP government can show for the promise to start at least 51 factories across the country under 1D1F is nothing.
However, November is still trending and there is still December to traverse and so the optimist may hope to see the NPP government spring up all the 51 factories in the two remaining months.
That would turn November and December 2017 into a November and December to remember.
Meanwhile, the monumental failure of the government to start a single factory in a whole year has stoked up doubt that it can build 216 of them across the country by the time its tenure ends in 2020.