An attempt by former Trade Minister, Alan Kwadjo Kyeremanteng to convince the public about the viability of the One District, One Factory policy backfired when he failed to convincingly answer probing questions on NPP’s track record and why electorates should believe in Nana Akufo Addo’s promise.
Alan Kyeremanteng opened his defense by referring to factories built under the Presidential Special Initiatives, said the one district, one factory policy was an NPP agenda started under the Kufuor regime.
He told Bernard Avle on Accra based CITI FM that it was part of an overall programme tailored to accelerate growth and development through aggressive rural industrialization.
He explained further that besides job creation, the initiative was intended to add value to natural resources, promote the spread of industries across the country and to provide import substitutes to reduce the high import bill strangulating the cedi.
“This was just one component of a comprehensive plan to industrialize the nation during the Kufuor Administration and in a sense improve export diversification”…he added.
Mr Kyeremanteng, however struggled to explain how a Nana AkufoAddo led government will build 216 factories if elected as President. This was when he was asked for a track record.
“The Ayensu Starch factory commissioned in 2004 operated for two years. It was shut down because of working capital. I won’t agree it collapsed. Government has done well to revamp it but it should give us the credit. Nothing has been added to the old facility we built so we deserve praise”
Alan Kyeremanteng admitted government at the time had difficulty getting raw materials to feed the factory and had to fold up. He also tried to explain why government was unable to sustain the other PSI on Garment and other initiatives.
The twice failed Presidential hopeful blamed the collapse of the factories on negative propaganda by opponents at that time.
He admitted the party has no concrete plan but expects to fall on working document after feasibility studies across the country.
Alan Kyeremanteng explained further that Nana Addo’s government if that happens will create the enabling environment for Public Private Partnerships to grow the proposed industries which is totally different from the definite promise made to establish factories as Nana asserted when he addressed party supporters in the Central region a couple of days ago.
Host of the programme, Bernard Avle drew his attention to some bold initiatives taken by the Mahama administration, which includes the Komenda Sugar Factory, the Shoe Factory in Kumasi, the revamped GIHOC Distilleries, the Cement Factory at Buipe among others and asked what specific factories the NPP will build.
Unfortunately, Alan Kyeremanteng avoided a direct answer and explained how a Nana led government will liaise with communities and the private sector to establish private limited liability companies, PLCs to harness resources, an obvious admission the party has no blue print.
“Each district will have the responsibility of identifying their own projects together with the private sector. The PLC will then be set up and implementation will follow. So we cannot talk about government alone selecting projects. It’s about the district, and if the private sector is interested, they will come in” he noted.
He further argued, over 100 business plans were put together during the Kufuor regime and these are accessible.
Nana Addo’s promise has been described as highly unachievable especially when the party cannot quantify how much will be needed for implementation and its poor track record in infrastructure development.
Experts are also raising eyebrows as the party is reluctant to name specific projects and where they are likely to be cited.
Source: The Republic
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