Minority New Patriotic Party (NPP) members in Parliament, are expressing fears that the recently commissioned Komenda Sugar Factory may become a white elephant soon. According to them, even though the factory has the potential to alleviate poverty through job creation and also cut the country’s sugar exports, government and its partners failed to consider certain fundamental problems associated with the running of the factory before the commissioning. They say factors such as the unavailability of sugarcane to feed the factory, unattractive prices for sugarcane produced by farmers and the high cost of irregular electrical power, may soon cripple the factory.
Addressing a press conference in Parliament today [Thursday], Ranking Member for Trade and Industry and MP for Wenchi, Professor George Gyan Baffour, said the government’s penchant for political expediency did not allow for critical analysis to be done on the whole project before roll out. “As at the time of the commissioning of the factory, the factory was and is still far from ready to start production since the outgrower farms are not ready. Running a sugar plant is like running an oil refinery or aluminium manufacturing industry. Once it is started, it must be kept running,otherwise it becomes an expensive white elephant,” he said Gov’t secures $24.5m for sugar factory President John Dramani Mahama on Monday inaugurated the 24.5 million dollar Komenda Sugar Factory in the Central Region. During the inauguration of the resuscitated factory, he said the facility, which will create over 7,000 jobs will ensure sustainable development of sugarcane plantations and in turn, harness the continuous growth and smooth running of the facility. Where’s the sugarcane for Komenda Sugar Factory? But critics have suggested that government’s decision to open the factory without the needed raw material to run it could only mean that it was done for political gain going into elections in November.
Renowned entrepreneur and founder of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom has also questioned the rationale behind government’s decision to hurriedly inaugurate the factory without the availability of the quantum of sugarcane, needed to run the facility efficiently. – By: Duke Mensah Opoku/citifmonline.com/Ghana