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Sat, Sep

ANOTHER 1D1F PROJECT ROLLS OUT ... 3,000 DIRECT JOBS EXPECTED

Business & Economy

Over 3,000 Ghanaians will be employed at a iron and steel manufacturing company which is under construction as part of projects under the One District, One Factory (1D1F) initiative. The company belongs to B5 Limited.

Over 3,000 Ghanaians will be employed at a iron and steel manufacturing company which is under construction as part of projects under the One District, One Factory (1D1F) initiative. The company belongs to B5 Limited.

At the sod-cutting ceremony, which took place yesterday at Lorpklenu in the Ningo-Prampram Traditional Area, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Carlos Ahenkorah said the project was timely and significant, as it fits into the government’s industrialisation drive.

Mr Ahenkorah said as the second 1D1F project in the environs of Ningo-Prampram, it was evidence of the government’s efforts to address issues of rural poverty.

“The achievement that we expect out of the 1D1F is to create jobs, enhance the natural resource endowment of the particular district, to produce import substitutes, produce products for export and to check rural-urban migration,” he said.

No impediment

Mr Ahenkorah therefore asked the chiefs and people of traditional areas and districts where the 1D1F factories are being built not to cause any impediment for investors.

"We will plead with the various district assemblies, and we will plead with the various traditional councils, that do whatever possible under your power to get the factories to sit within your area," he implored residents.

He added, "If we try to put impediments in the way of investors, it does not only result in their not coming to invest, but they go out to tell a story.”

Import substitution

On the issue of import substitution, Mr Ahenkorah said every year Ghana imports about 300,000 metric tonnes of steel products, which costs the government a fortune.

He was optimistic that once the B5 Plus steel company became functional, its annual produce would unburden the government of the huge sum allocated to that effect.

To this end, he lauded the project, which is directed towards the government's plan “to provide a situation where importers will eschew or shy away from the prospects out there to bring in a 50,000 component, because it is already here and so we save that import cost.”

Land litigation

The chief executive officer of B5 Plus Limited, Mike Thakwani, asked the government to deal with the issue of land litigation and also continue putting in place appropriate business-friendly policies to attract more foreign investors into the country.

“The land litigation is one of the biggest challenges to industry in Ghana, regardless of we sometimes having a clear land title," he said.

"I would request to the government agencies that they really try to look into the methods of land litigation to ensure that investors do not shy away from the country because of the land issues.”

$18m investment

Mr Thakwani revealed that the company would produce various types of steel materials, some of which are currently imported into the country, and also develop a huge service industry.

“The total investment involved in this project is more than $18 million and we will be producing over 15,000 metric tonnes per month. We have acquired 377 acres of land and the first 100 acres are already fenced,” he added.

Deputy Minister of Land and Natural Resources Barbara Oteng-Gyasi underscored the importance of industrialisation in the realisation of accelerated sustainable development, as well as the government's vision of a "Ghana Beyond Aid".

She added that this initiative under the 1D1F agenda is complemented by the National Supplier Development Programme, aimed at expanding the scope of local industries capable of manufacturing inputs for mining companies and integrating the mining sector into the larger economy.

“I believe the sod-cutting and unveiling of B5 Plus manufacturing plants is yet another milestone towards the significant noble programmes of the government,” she added.

The steel foundry is expected to be completed and ready to begin working in March 2019.






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