Ayensu Starch Factory, the premier cassava starch production factory and the first project ever established under President's Kufuor's Special Initiative in Ghana is on the brink of collapse over management crisis.
Investigations reveal that the one time vibrant starch production company, whose initial establishment was engulfed in controversy over the pricing of a ton of cassava, has been closed down for close to three months now.
The development however, is the result of bankruptcy of ideas on the part of management and financial hiccups that have conspired to strangle the company and are gradually leading the imminent collapse.
But management, in a cover up for their bankruptcy and inefficiency, has posted notices on the company's notice board saying it has suspended operations of the factory.
While an internal memo lists a catalogue of reasons for laying off workers. The reasons for the closure of the factory lie else where.
In an internal memo dated April 3, 2006 to the Administrator/ Director, the Factory Engineer, Albert Quansah, indicated that “in connection with preparation and construction of new sedimentation and oxidation ponds, the factory operation is suspended with effect from Monday April 3, 2006 until further notice.
The memo said, “in view of the above underlined subject, factory staff are however to stand-by at home and will be called back as soon as possible.” The memo then added, the Administrative Manager and Financial Director would arrange payment of salaries in due course, but for two months now they have not been paid.
The memo singled out four persons, who are to report to duty daily, and indicated that, in order to prepare adequately for work on resumption of production, effluent pit two and damaged (submersible) pump should be replaced while one of the motors, (the burn extractor three fibre pump motor, ) needs rewinding . Among others the Factory Engineer also requested that two other motors – the burn concentration hydrocyclone pump motor three and burn main sieve pump motor should also be rewound.
The company memo said, it also expects the recharging of expired fire extinguishers and expect engineers to inspect and examine the steam boiler, forklift truck, air compressor receiver and condensation tank and issue a report for them.
But The Independent can point out that the company has fallen into this state of affairs due to administrative crisis that has rendered management incompetent plus an excessive cash crunch that is fast crumbling and scuttling President John Kufuor's vision and initiative for job creation.
During a recent visit to the premises of the Bawjiase based 7 million dollar worth Ayensu Starch Factory Company, the one time busy factory where people trooped in and out, and where one could on any typical day hear the humming and grinding of many machines and trucks, could today be likened to a typical cemetery situation.