The commissioning early this week of B5 Plus, an iron and steel products factory in the Ningo-Prampram area of the Greater Accra Region, is heartwarming and auspicious.
The commissioning has taken place against the backdrop of the establishment previously of the Ghana Integrated Iron and Steel Development Corporation (GIISDEC) by President Akufo-Addo with the aim of fast-tracking the industrialisation of the country.
It remains the most ambitious leap yet, in our desire as a country to industrialise.
With industrialisation on the sight of the government, it cannot afford to ignore the development and value addition element to the vast deposits of iron ore in different parts of the country.
The correlation between the B5 factory and the GIISDEC is symbiotic and when properly managed would inure immensely to the realisation of our national goal of becoming self-sufficient in the manufacturing of certain inputs for our IDIF initiatives and relative production lines.
It is for this reason among others that we think, and rightly so, that government should provide the necessary oxygen required to keep GIISDEC afloat and productive.
Considering the exigency of the industrialisation project of government, it is our stance that the speed-thwarting bureaucracy characteristic of many a venture should be spared the GIISDEC and related matters.
Ghana must industrialise without further delay. Looking beyond our traditional natural resources could not have been given a better boost. Our iron and steel deposits are begging to be exploited so the industrialisation project successive governments have harped upon but could not move forward will take off and effectively so.
The employment opportunities which abound in the parts of the country where the iron ore deposits occur can only be conjectured.
With employment opportunities being sought to absorb the unemployed, not grabbing the impetus offered by the Sheini Hills and Oppong-Manso deposits among others, cannot be acceptable.
When the exploitation of the deposits go on full throttle, a marriage of convenience between the GIISDEC and the newly commissioned factory should be consummated for the good of all.
If a conversation between the factory and the GIISDEC has not started already, let that be, and now. Both can find common grounds mutually beneficial to their mandates and by extension to the national interest.
The cost of iron rods has been on a ceaseless rise in recent times, and to think that with concerted and sincere commitment we can commence production locally and even looking beyond our borders for markets make us consternate.
When we start seeing locally produced iron rods and the B5 Plus factory alongside others depending upon our deposits, we would heave a sigh of relief and inscribe the name of President Akufo-Addo on a marble as the man whose foresight made it possible.