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Fixing The Country: Open Letter To President Nana Addo On The Need For 2 Years Economic Recovery Program - Part 3

As Well As For Prompt Action On Komenda Sugar Factory And A Plan For Sugar Production Series In Ghana
Feature Article Fixing The Country: Open Letter To President Nana Addo On The Need For 2 Years Economic Recovery Program - Part 3
MAY 18, 2022 LISTEN

Dear Excellency President Nana Addo,

Romans 13:1-2 in the Holy Book declares as follows. ‘’Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves’’ Implying it is God who really chooses a Leader

So, Mr President, it is very gratifying to note that you, as one of the key Freedom fighters or constitutionalists who rallied behind Professor Adu-Boahene and ensured Ghana returned to Constitutional rule, is presently the President of Ghana with a very supportive and brilliant Vice President suggesting that God had a good reason for this combination since 2008 because God was aware of this hard times, which the whole world especially Ghana will go through almost. So all along God was fortifying you and the VP with the strength and determinations to lead us.

Mr President if you could recollect the year 1983, was the harshest year in Ghana’s history before the COVID-19 pandemic and the current hardship which situations or magnitude would be clear at the end of it which is also difficult to tell. The 1983 hardship which lasted for two years or so was then due to food shortage in Ghana, which was a combination of events, it was partly natural because the rainfall in all the major food producing areas was late and erratic, and its sudden cessation in July in the Ashanti, Brong-Ahafo, and Eastern Regions and in September in Northern and Upper Regions severely reduced the output of maize and other cereals. Mr President, the hardship in 1983 was also human in origin (man-made).

Mr President, the casual effects of the current hardship is the same as that of 1983 because the both are natural and human. The 1983 was due to bad weather and human including mismanagement and the current one the repercussion of COVID-19 pandemic which caused a great slowdown of economic activities and further aggravated by human origin that is due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine War and the mismanagement by both the current and previous Administrations.

Mr President the major differences are that the 1983 did not cause restriction of movement or closure of borders and did not disturb the supply chain within and outside Ghana but the current economic downturn is not limited to Ghana as was the situation in 1983 but it is a global catastrophe which has caused and still causing disturbances in the supply chain in the international market as well as global restrictions of human movement including tourists who are source of revenue.

Since the Russia-Ukraine War is ongoing and may lead to World War three or so, the final date of the repercussions is hidden (known by only God) or beyond description, hence the gloomy situation will be with us for some time and it may take a longtime to recover if Nations failed to adopt control (austerity) measures. Understanding our current situation by all so that we adjust or change our attitude and above stop comparing notes or periods of regimes, a very is senseless or unwarranted acts since situation are not equal or same and this period so be regarded a new (birth) Ghana. All that is required is very good leadership and cooperation by all.

So, Mr President, the strength God gave you that made you to stay focused despite the insults before you became President and you are still insulted during your Presidency, the casual effects of COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war making the whole World to go through hard times which Ghana has her fair share should make you to understand why God chose you as the President. It was because of the very rough roads ahead of 2016.

Since, it is Almighty God, who nominated you as the President to lead his good people of Ghana this should tell you that your three futile attempts to be elected as President that is since 1996 and the insults against your persons since then was designed by God to change and make you a game changer, one with outlandish ideas like the free SHS which unbelievably started in 2017.

Mr President, the Free SHS, was and still unbelievably, because some of us in the 2012 Presidential Election were of the view that we should pursue the Constitutional provision at Article 25 (1) (b) still progressively as in the provision and this after 19 years of the Fourth Republic or the enforcement of the 1992 Constitution and in 2012, some of us thought that it may be possible after 30 years or around 2042 (2012+30years) and with the challenges, some of us are still in doubt of why you are not cancelling free SHS or review the payment model as at date.

Mr President, this really show that you are a Game changer (a Show boy) because you understand that obstacles are the raw material that creates the road map to success and so you regard obstacles as the indication that you are on the right path. After all, if there were no obstacles, then everyone would be a game changer to lead us through great breakthroughs. Hence, with prayers by all the good people of Ghana, this Country will go through great breakthroughs and thanks to the Almighty God for giving you a Vice President whose performances in the Digitization and digitalization agenda is par excellence or superb. So, God willing, Ghana will see superb improvements. Because a new economic template that replaces the Goggisburg economic template is being pursued by your Administration.

But, Mr President, this period under your Presidency and ahead (after 2024) demands bold Leadership with clear-cut objectives and the determination to attain the Objectives, no more business as usual, Sir. Mr President, it is recommended that you come out with 2 years pragmatic or recovery program. Mr President, an economic downturn demands a transparent economic recovery programme which must be bought by all stakeholders and understood by all Ghanaians.

Mr President, I am sorry to say that you should please reshuffle your team and fire bad nuts including none performing or abysmal performing Officials/personnel and Officials who caused an embarrassment to the Presidency.

Mr President, you may wish for some recommendations and justifications. The Hon Minister for Finance, a very nice man, unfortunately he should be the number one casualty (first accused). Sir, no matter his excellent credentials or whatever support he gave you or is giving you in person, he must go. The Minerals Royalty (which he named as the Agyapa Royalties) plan to be floated in the Stock Market, was or is a very smart idea (thinking outside the box) initiated by the Administration of His Excellency ex-President Mahama and your Administration stole it from the Administration of His Excellency ex-President Mahama or rather government is a continuous process, so you are performing continuous Government business. But do it well or transparent.

Unfortunately, the Hon Minister for Finance coined it as the Agyapa Royalties with alleged questionable (shady) deals and this even gave the lucrative chance for Hon Martin Amidu to say unpalatable words to the person of the President, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ghana. Also how he poorly handled the controversial E-levy, another very smart policy but due to poor stakeholders’ engagement, this is part of our suffering is partly due to the very low grading of Ghana by the International economic Analysts due to the poor handling of the E-levy which delayed the approval of this tax handle therefore it gave an indication that Ghana will not be able to raise revenue as budgeted, so no sensible investor will invest in Ghana for us to raise more dollars and investors were rather redeeming their investments. Instead keeping quite he was attacking the competency of the Analysts.

Mr President, People don’t want to hear anything more from him, so he must go. Get a very experienced persons with economics background as the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning. Search for Hon Akoto one time MP for Tafo or so a good man and friend to JDM, so he can build bridges for us to sail through. The new Minister to be appointed should re-package the Agyapa Royalty and give it a new name say Ghana Royalty, he should be transparent and involve relevant stakeholders in the finalization of the Minerals Royalties and the floatation of same should be done within four months from now. So the Minster for Finance should be sacked immediate.

Mr President, abah? Please you need to appoint without delay, effective immediate sir, a new Minster for the Ministry of Gender etc or Women Developments and Social Welfare Ministry to replace Hon Adjoa Sarfo (the embarrassment caused to the Sovereign State of Ghana by her absence, if not to President Nana Addo is unacceptable. Mr President, God First and Ghana Second, so she, Hon Adjoa Sarfo must be sacked now (do not make her think that she is who we must obey).

Mr President, the consumption of rice in Ghana is reported to be around 1.5million metric tons and the local production of paddy rice was 970,000 metric tons (equivalent to 665,000 tons

of milled rice) as in 2020 or so. Implying the importation of rice to meet local demand is a must. Hence, Rice is the largest or number one imported food item in terms of economic value and volume.

The Hon Minster of Agriculture from documentary evidence brought the production of rice in Ghana from 600,000 metric tons in 2016 to 970,000 metric tons. One may say a good job by him. But I am of the view that he can do more with irrigation systems as well as supporting and encouraging massive rice production in other Regions of Ghana like the Volta and Central Regions so that over 700,000 hectares of arable land is brought under rice cultivation with efficient agronomic or Agric cultural practices and not the current below 240,000 hectares used in rice production.

Please check with him if he still wants to be a Presidential Candidate and just release him if yes and get a dynamic person, you may opt for a serving Senior Police or Military Officer of the rank Lieutenant Colonel or Colonel to serve his Country first. Otherwise just speak to him to work harder than before.

.Mr President let me share my experience especially the importance of the economic recovery programme and need for a young competent person to support you to execute the programme especially in the Agriculture sector. When I was posted to the defunct Ghana Armed Forces Farms, Michel camp from Field Engineers Regiment Teshie (where the current National Security Coordinator and your National Security Adviser were the 21C and my OC (Engineer Squadron) respectively and they both gave me good training. The Engineer Regiments had farms and had a cattle project then at part of East Legon area (Baliwese area) then a very busy place and I was involved in the management of the farm. So, on joining my new Unit, I made some recommendations to my Commanding Officer on how to run the Unit for it to be profitable. But he did not buy my ideas due to then culture of silence (the era of who born dog). He did not want to be sacked that was what he told me.

Coincidentally, the fearsome General Arnold Quianoo then GOC (same as CDS), saw an Army Officer in uniform (a very young Lieutenant) around Sankara Circle area on the same day and gave me a lift in his smallest green car type Golf. He opened up a conversation with me and I saw it as a lucrative chance to put an idea across, so he was so impressed with my an idea which I mentioned that made him to drive and dropped me around UTC Makola area and directed that I should info my CO to see Hon Mr PV Obeng (PNDC members for Governmental affairs). The Unit was then financed directly by subvention from the PNDC HQ, through the Ministry of Finance (under a Secretary as the boss). Thanks to God, the General is still alive to confirm this story.

Mr, President, I became the Commanding Officer of the defunct Ghana Armed Forces Farms by default in 1992. (I am among the few Military Officers whose names were or has been captured in Col Festus Aboagye’s book on the History of the Ghana Armed Forces as the CO-GAFF). Based on my Military background, I conducted Battle Appreciation or Risk Assessment of the Unit and I came out with a Master Action Plan for the Unit, which I applied to the letter and I made a modest achievement (profit) even under very difficult means of funding. One of the Unit’s very reliable Customers, in the person of Madame Mawusi Nudekor Awitey, the Director General of TEVT, who is the wife of a fellow Army Officer and we were all then in Michel Camp, can confirm my problems and success at the then Ghana Armed Forces Farms. A copy of my Action Plan which I prepared for the Ghana Armed Forces Farms for 1992 Farming Season which I submitted to the Military Superior Headquarters shall be made available to the CDS (a very good friend in Takoradi, through my sister Mrs Sodatu Minyila, a friend to his wife).

Mr President, unfortunately, the Unit which was put under Support Services Brigade, hence a lot of bureaucracies was disbanded under my watch, despite the battle I fought against the intended disbandment. Shockingly, my Superior Commander replied to my numerous mails against the disbandment of the Unit that my submissions were highly commendable but it decision has been reached by the PNDC to disband the Unit so it is irreversible. So, I was made a member of the Board of Survey, shockingly I became the secretary to the Board of Survey and the disbandment through the work of the Board of Survey was virtually done by me.

Mr President this info is to let you know that the State of Some of the State Enterprises, no innovation and that some of need a second look. Remember the Staff of BOST welcome their new MD with the wreath flowers we place at cemeteries which they placed in front of his Office. Signaling that he should work as business as usual or allow them to do their nefarious acts. That is Ghana for you. I will submit the issues of Komenda Sugar Factory herein. Mr President, I am not doing party politics but due to my stand as Ghana First, so I am doing Ghana issues.

Mr President, Military Officers normally trained to excellent Battle Appreciation or risk assessment techniques before they embark on war which is always based on the first Principle of War that is’’ Selection and Maintenance of Aim’’, which also regarded as the Principle for Business success etc, some can help you produce remarkable results in the recovery programme.

So, Mr President I am among the School of thought with views of the use of the Military for National development on economic grounds. Because, Ghana as one of the developing countries has been experiencing short of funds, food and scarce resources such as trained or requisite manpower, vehicle etc problems, so in this situation it is not good to merely employ military personnel and resources in a standby role ready to defend the country should it become necessary. So when the country is not involved in military hostilities and the Country is going through hard times, the Military should also be used as fully as possible for other purposes in National development.

Sir, I wish to reiterate that the Military due to being the best well organized Institution in the Country that can help you in the Economy Recovery programme due to the Military principle of Unit command or one mission one boss as well as their doctrine of Selection and maintenance of Aim, the first principle of war.

So, sir, check and get a dynamic Army Officer at the Ministry of Agric, provide him with funding and action plan to reduce the importation of Rice and Chicken in Ghana and if possible Ghana to consider to go into sugar production series in the North East Ghana, the Savannah areas say Savelugu etc and Tiso in Volta Region, these areas in Ghana are very suitable for the production of sugarcane which is a member of the grass family, a C4 plant like maize and sorghum with efficient photosynthesis feature that requires abundant sunshine, heat and water under irrigation with good agronomic or cultural practices. More on this later Sir. Note I hold BSc Hons Agric from KNUST and had practical experience as a former Commanding Officer of the defunct Ghana Armed Forces Farms.

Commercial production of food items as part of the Economic recovery programme.

Mr President, let me give you a pen picture of the State of affairs with the view to recommending the way forward. So what is the situation in Ghana? Mr President, Ghana has a very poor food security for a very longtime and it will worsen due to the causal effects of COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine War which affects the supply chain and the dependence on the importation of her basic food items like cereals namely Rice, maize and wheat, animal protein like fish, meat chicken, beef, pork, turkey tails etc) and thus greatly affecting our economic fundamentals especially inflation and the foreign exchange situations.

Mr President, these economic situations, deteriorate very fast with time due to the unmatched population explosion and less local production, hence importation of these food items to meet the high demand is expected. Hence Ghana has poor Food Security. So we need to increase the production of rice, maize and chicken.

Another food commodity in high demand or imported in large volumes after Rice is Sugar but it is the eighth most valuable imported product and the fourth largest food import item in terms of economic value. That is to say in terms of economic value of imported food items, rice is number one as the highest imported item based on economic value (amount of million dollars used), and next in values in that order are fish, Chicken and Sugar. Sugar is therefore the 4th imported food item economic value (amount of million dollars used). So, Sugar is just the fourth largest food imported item in Ghana.

Mr President, in order to meet the needs of its people, every Country must answer three basic economic questions or three fundamentals of economics namely what should we produce? Where and how should we produce it or them? For whom should we produce the food item(s). So, Mr President, in attempt to correct the economic fundamentals of Ghana through food security, import substitution, create jobs, reduce inflation pulled by the price of food and due to scarcity and choice as dictated by economics principles or theories, a risk analyst would recommend that Ghana to use opportunity cost and comparative advantage to decide what to produce and where to produce and for whom should we produce the food items, (herein it should be for local and foreign market).

Mr President, among the four items which Ghana imports in large quantities namely Rice, Fish, Chicken and Sugar in that order in terms of economic values, it is recommended that the production of rice combined with poultry farming is preferable to the production of sugarcane. Hence it was a shock that Ghana is currently bedeviled with the Komenda Sugar production series and still need to take an additional loan of 24miillion dollars to construct the irrigation system and complete other facilities including tailings dam at the Komenda Sugar Factory.

Mr President, copious evidential material by researchers indicated the unsuitability of Komenda and her catchments areas to produce the desired quantity and quality of sugar with level of sucrose and brix content to ensure more than 50% recovery of raw sugar as against the possibilities of attaining about 75% recovery of raw sugar with high brix level in the North east of Ghana (Savelugu area) and or Tiso in the Volta Region under irrigation and efficient agronomic or cultural practices.

Mr President, Cry the Beloved the Country (with apology to Alan Panton). No one should blame his Excellency ex-President JD Mahama. He did not have good technical advisers or the advisers were good but either bootlickers or timid or corrupt. Mr President you are also suffering from the JDM’s regime disease of either you have very not good advisers or you have good technical advisers but either bootlickers or timid or corrupt. Mr President, please take some time to read the below submissions on Komenda Sugar Factory, let me start with some little info about sugarcane and sugar processing

Mr President, Sugar cane originated from Papua New Guinea, it belongs to the grass family. It grows properly in the tropics and sub-tropics. Like maize and sorghum, Sugarcane is a C4 plant, with elaborate (efficient in) photosynthesis thus requires abundant sunshine, CO2, heat and water and releases more oxygen into the air.

Sugar Production Sugar industry is an important agro-based industry that impacts rural livelihood. It provides employment or income for sugarcane farmers, workers directly employed in sugar mills very close to the farming areas say 40miles radius due to the bulky nature to reduce cost of transportation and preserve quality as required at a refinery and workers directly employed in a sugar refinery. Employment is also generated in various ancillary activities relating to transport, trade servicing of machinery and supply of agriculture inputs.

The production of Sugar termed herein as Sugar Production Series consists of three separate or standalone ventures or series. Firstly, is the Sugar Refinery Factory, a separate entity to receive raw material or raw sugar from the next venture which is a Sugar Mills (combined with a Crusher).

The Sugar Mill is also a Standalone plant or factory and receives raw material as either Sugar beet or sugarcane with high level of sucrose and high brix (solid solution) level. The third is Sugarcane plantation or out growers or the farmers who cultivate sugarcane or sugar beet for the Sugar Mill.

Brazil is the World leading producer of Sugar. India, is the second largest producer of sugarcane and has only two standalone Sugar Refineries, one in the coastal belt of Gujarat and the second one in West Bengal. Both produce refined sugar mainly from imported raw sugar from Brazil etc and from indigenously produced raw sugar from 742 Sugar Mills which are located at the center of sugarcane farms within India. The 742 Sugar Mills also receive sugarcane from 50 million of farmers as well as from own Plantations.

Sugarcane on reaching the sugar mill is shredded, washed, crushed by the Mill, the milled product and lime is added to the juice etc from the Mill and Clarification is done to remove impurities. The raw sugar is sent to a Refinery where clarification to remove impurities is further done, next is heating to cause evaporation, then Condensation to be followed by Crystallization and centrifugation and lastly drying and package.

Sugar Production in Ghana and Komenda Sugar Production Series

Mr President, I am very sorry for a revelation (story) which may make you to weep for this Country. Cry the Beloved Country (with apology to Mr Alan Panton). Hmm, Mr President, a research in 2006/7 and confirmed in 2012 revealed that the Savannah grass land area of the North East of Ghana has almost same weather situation like Sao Paulo in Brazil for sugar production series with a variety of sugarcane that can achieve a sugar refinery recovery rate of 70% of sucrose, same as Brazil which is the World largest producer of sugar and that when the cultivation is associated with irrigation and good agronomic or cultural practices due to the abundant sunshine and heat required by sugarcane, which is a member of the perennial grass family. Tiso in the Volta Region has the potential for commercial sugarcane plantations. Hence Ghana has the potential to become a principal producer of sugar if not beat Brazil as the World leading producer of sugar.

Mr President, the sucrose recovery rate of sugarcane at Komenda and the catchment areas is about or below 50% raw sugar recovery rate, hence lower sucrose and lower brix level as in Sugarcane produced at Savelugu. That it is only possible if the farmers use the developed Komenda sugar cane Hybrid termed as Komenda sugarcane (B41227), which has superior in sucrose, brix content and ratoon yield, as well as suppression of weeds than the other varieties in Komenda. Hence choice of Komenda for the Sugar Production series in 2014 or so was more of a political value (a waste) than an economic value. This will be made clear later, so please read further.

Mr President another point that may make you to weep for Ghana is that the Military regime of the NLC which overthrew the CPP administration of Dr Nkrumah conducted massive investigations into the projects of Dr Nkrumah and the revelations were or are disturbing. That both areas of Komenda and Asutsuare were then (that this the time) Dr Nkrumah bought them from the original owners not suitable for production of the quality of sugar (high sucrose level and high level of brix content) for high recovery of sucrose at a Sugar Refinery.

It was revealed that the Komenda Sugar factory was more of political value or consideration by Dr Nkrumah, as part of his rush to establish industries as part of import substitution, create job by spreading industries regionally like your IDIF, he did not ask for or conduct feasibilities studies but Dr Nkrumah in his attempt to showcase Ghana to the rest of the World that the Blackman was/is capable managing his Nation as well as set the pace in Africa,, opted for a political value, instead of an economic value and rushed and bought a planned Komenda Sugar factory at $1.5million dollars from a Dutch Company which planned to refine sucrose from Sugar beet or beetroot and not sugarcane. This is the original history of Komenda Sugar Factory.

Mr President, the two Sugar factories had to be refitted and started commercial production in 1965 at Asutsuare in CCP era and 1967 at Komenda during the era of NLC. Komenda performed better in 1975/77 due to the OPERATION FEED YOURSELF and the OPERATION FEED YOUR INDUSTRIES by the great General Acheampong’s NRC Regime but became defunct in 1982 in the PNDC regime. Mr President, below are authentic pen picture of attempts since the Presidency of President Kofour to produce sugarcane or for the establishment of Sugar production series including reviving both the Komenda Sugar Factory and the Asutsuare Sugar Factory in the Fourth Republic.

Enter President Kofour’s era. Mr President, in an attempt in 2007 by President Kofour to change the economic fundamentals by the inclusion of large Scale production of Sugar in Ghana as one of the cash crops, he made bilateral agreement with the Brazilian government and agreement was reached for an offer of US$260millions loan to Northern Sugar Resources, a private firm in Ghana through the Government of Ghana, to establish a sugarcane plantation and ethanol processing plant in the Savanna areas of Northern Ghana which has almost the same climatic condition as Sao Paulo in Brazil, the largest producer of sugar in the World.

It was estimated that ethanol (to be produced as a bonus from a waste product from Sugar Refinery termed as Molasses) would be Ghana’s fourth largest exporter a year after the plant was built. Cry the Beloved Country (with apology to Mr Alan Panton), it was stopped by the Ghanaian politics of pull him down (PHD, hmm it is not surprise that every Ghanaian wants to be PHD, hence the made one Dr UN to exploit this disease to cajole if not dupe them.). Mr President, as stated some detractors shot down this project by accusing President Kofour of land grabbing and for other reasons the project did not see the light of the day.

Enter President Mill’s era -President Mills looked for Investors for both Asutsuare and Komenda factories and in 2010 he had Cargill International, a Swiss based company. Cargill, alleged that it was not economically viable to venture into sugar-cane plantations locally. So they came out with a plan to invest US$100 million in a sugar processing plant, to be located at Tema within the Free Zone enclave. They wanted to install a Refinery Plant with an initial capacity of processing 450,000 tonnes of raw sugar to be increased later to 650,000 tonnes of raw sugar from Brazil etc. The plan by Cargill International was to use imported raw sugar to feed the sugar processing plant. Google for “Ghana to have new sugar factory,” reported by the Media on 19 May 2010 and or Google “Cargill to spend $100million in Ghana sugar refinery,” as by the Media on 19 September 2011.

Mr President, the experts from Cargill International were both wrong and right. They were wrong because like maize and sorghum, Sugarcane belongs to the grass family hence a tropical and sub-tropical plant originated from Papa New Guinea. Like Maize or Sorghum, it is a C4 plant, therefore it requires abundant sunshine, heat, CO2 and water cum efficient agronomic practices (suppressing of weeds and application of NPK fertilizer etc) and releases a lot of oxygen. So Cargill was wrong, because studies proved that Sugarcane can be produced in large commercial quantities in the savannah area of around Savelugu in the North East Ghana or area of the Daka River, a tributary of the River Volta in the north-eastern part of Ghana, which is with massive hectares of arable land, and the area has enough sunshine, heat and that with suitable irrigation and efficient agronomic practices, Ghana can produce sugarcane of a recovery rate of 75% of raw sugar from sugarcane as achieved in the São Paulo region of Brazil. It may be possible around Pwalugu.

So, Mr President please work on your Pwalugu integrated Project to kill four birds with one stone (Generation of cheap power, irrigation for farming of rice and sugarcane etc, thirdly the checking of the periodic or perennial flooding of some parts of the North with the associated loss of life, farms and other assets whenever Burkina Faso opens the Bagare dam during spillage and lastly to correct or help to correct the economic fundamentals as part of import substitution or save foreign exchange and reduce inflation pulled by price of food.

Mr President, Cargill International were right with the idea of starting with a Sugar Refinery at the Free Zone in Tema this what is termed backward integration. Mr President you first build only a Sugar refinery as a Standalone project near a seaport separate from the Sugar Mill at a place favrouble to get access to cheap imported raw sugar say from Brazil etc, access to the local market at less cost and to export Ethanol at low cost or sell to TOR or GOIL to add additives and use as petrol, as well as enjoy the benefits of establishing an Industry at an Industrial enclave.

So, Cargill wisely told the Mills Administration that they may consider to operate a sugar Mill at Komenda and Asutsuare to feed their Sugar Refinery with raw sugar and produce power for the national grid and bagasse etc as fodder or for the Paper and chip board industries. So, one is at loss or cannot tell what went wrong with the backward integration as claimed by the NDC, which even was well documented in the Sugar Policy prepared by the then Minister of Trade (Hon Spio Garbah), the sugar policy was very clear to even a JSS student because it stated black and white what to be done in the short term, medium term and long term.

Mr President, the short term per Ghana’s Sugar Policy made in 2013 by Hon Spio Garbah was to establish institutional and regulatory support systems required to grow a globally competitive sugar industry by establishing first a sugar refining capacity to process imported raw sugar. So the Government of Ghana in 2012/13 planned to build first, a SUGAR REFINERY as a Standalone in the short term and later on a Sugar Mill as part of the medium term activities. At this juncture one may ask, why then did the State construct a combined Sugar Mill and a Sugar Refinery at the same time at Komenda. May be no collaborative efforts by the actors or no stakeholders engagement due to our normal national disease of doing things alone or those involved did not understand backward integration. Mr President, they must be identified and charge for causing serious financial loss to the State as I will further reveal.

Mr President Backward integration, is business strategy in Sugar Refinery project or the establishment of tomatoes factory. Note a Sugar Production series involves three separate or Standalone entities namely the Sugar Plantations far from the Sugar Refinery, then a Sugar Refinery very far from the Sugar Mills but close to a sea port and a good Market area. Lastly numerous Sugar Mills like grinding mills with crushing jaws (Nika, Nika) all over the place, which must be within 40miles radius from the Sugarcane farms or Sugar Plantations or out growers because the sugarcane is bulky, so you need to reduce cost in transport and it must be treated at the factory within 16hours otherwise it will deteriorate.

So you use backward integration for you to get the Sugar Production series (the three Standalones) effective and efficient, so you first start with a Sugar Refinery as a Standalone project say in Tema and buy imported raw sugar for production. This mean that you should initially ignore local farmers otherwise they will sabotage you for high prices and let the farmers or producers approach you or other tycoons to establish the Sugar Mill to buy their Sugarcane at agreed price for you to get the raw sugar from Sugar Mills established by the farmers (cooperatives). Hence you will be in the position to buy their raw material that is raw sugar at reasonable price say close to or a little above the price of imported raw sugar for you to stay in business. Otherwise, the farmers will sabotage you by demanding that you pay high prices for their Sugarcane.

India is the Second World producer of Sugar. It adopted back integration so they have two Standalone Sugar Refineries located close to harbors purposely built to depend on imported raw sugar but to supplement with local raw sugar from about 800 Sugar Mills whenever raw material is available, so the Refineries operate 24/7 for 365 days. Whilst Sugar Mills operate 180days cycle due to the time sugarcane takes to mature (9 to even 20months) and this require staggering so irrigation is required to prevent maturing at the same time. Hence, Ghana has the potential to produce sugarcane in the North and Volta Region with 75% raw sugar recovery rate same as Brazil and not India and supplement with imported raw sugar to get refined sugar and ethanol at a Refinery to become a one of the World producers of sugar and possible beat India and become the second World producer of Sugar.

Enter President Mahama – In 2013, President John Daramani Mahama, visited Mauritius and visited Omnicane Flexi Sugar Cane and invited Omnicane Flexi Sugar Cane Cluster to replicate their sugarcane technology in Ghana.

Omnicane Flexi Sugar Cane visited Ghana in 2014. Omnicane Flexi Sugar Cane Cluster studied available reports by Researchers on Sugar production in the North and went to the North for confirmation, they were so pleased like the Brazilians did in 2007, so they announced to invest US$250 million over five years in Savelugu, in the northern part of Ghana for initial cultivation of sugarcane on 20,000 hectare at 80tons per hectare will give 1,600,000 tons of sugarcane land to produce 120,000 tonnes final of sugar for export to the EU and production of energy to feed the National grid, fodder for animals, raw material for paper factories.

Google for “Omnicane Flexi Sugar Cane of Mauritius sugar cane sweetens trade with Ghana,” as by the media on 10th September 2014. So I can now comfortably say that the consideration to build the Komenda Sugar Production series Sugar was by incompetent persons otherwise for political value and not for economic value in the Better Ghana Agenda otherwise the JDM Administration was badly advised or had very poor knowledge of the state of affairs. The below submissions speaks volume of the wrongs of the Advisers of the previous regime.

Your Excellency President Nana Addo, Sugarcane takes 10 to 15 months to mature after planting and it must be processed within 16hours at the Sugarcane Mill factory after harvesting otherwise it will deteriorate or may not be very suitable for factory production.

The quality of the sugarcane also counts (high sucrose and high brix content that is solid solution) and the best breed or hybrid developed by researchers is the Komenda Sugarcane. Out-growers or farmers must grow the right variety or breed. The Komenda Sugar Mill Factory has an operational cycle of 180 days with a maximum capacity of 1,250 tons of sugarcane per day. This means that a requirement of 225,000 (180 x 1,250) tons of sugarcane per year. Studies have shown that 100 tons of sugarcane gives only 10 to 15 tons of raw sugar for a Sugar Refinery.

The average production of sugar cane in Ghana is between 40 tons and 80 tons per hectare. Let us be very generous to Komenda and use the yield of 80 tons per hectare due to expected efficient agronomic practices and good irrigation. Hence to produce 225,000 tons of sugarcane you need 225,000 divided by 80 tons per acre = 2,812.50 hectares of free suitable (no encumbrance) and irrigable land for the Komenda Factory. But the Factory is reported to have 2000acres or 2000acres divided by 2.47 to convert to hectares this will give 809.70 hectares land as part of inventory around the factory, but it was perceived that part of it has been encroached. So let us be generous and say no encroachment and that Koemanda may not use part of the 809hectares for a sugarcane nursery hence Komenda Sugar Refinery/Sugar Mill as constructed will need 2,812.50 hectares minus 809.70 hectares = 2,002.80 hectares of additional suitable land for sugar cane production in the catchment areas within 40 miles radius and must be used for the production of Sugarcane of the Komenda hybrid cum under efficient agronomic practices and irrigation system.

Mr President competent Researchers from Cape Coast University made a research which confirms my stand that the construction or locating the Komenda Sugar Production Series was not based on expert advice otherwise a very bad one because their research results, showed that the factory could mobilize only 7% of its feedstock requirement within the industrially recommended radius of 40 miles or and 13% within the entire catchment area in the 2016/2017 season and concluded that at the current scale of production and production conditions, the Komenda Sugar Factory will face large deficits in feedstock (sugarcane) supply.

Your Excellency President Nana Addo, so please do not drag your feet or waste time, the buck stop with the President and you as the Game Changer, God gave to us, get Hon Alan Cash and give him one month to get an investors for or sell Komenda Sugar factory less the Sugar Mill etc so at 1/3 of the cost price for the investors to start operating only the Sugar Refinery with imported raw sugar.

Your Excellency President Nana Addo do not listen to any detractor, I am prepared to be a prosecuting witness or risk adviser for the prosecuting of any of the persons who caused this financial loss to the State. Note the Refinery is at wrong location (so cost will reduce), the Refinery operator may need less of the available land (so cost will reduce) and Ghana should not expect to recover the same cost because of depreciation and the effect of the sea or the weather and also for the investor to make it, he needs to build warehouses and import raw sugar from Brazil through Takoradi or Tema Habour. So just handover to an investor without waste of time.

Mr President, the idea of sugar production is good. So you need to follow up the pledges made by Mauritius to support Ghana to become a leading producer and exporter of sugar in the West African sub region. The support according to the Mauritius includes using sugarcane by-product to generate electricity. Mauritius will set up sugar mills in viable districts identified by both governments for more please Google for “Mauritius pledges support for sugar production in Ghana,” 12 January 2017. Also it was reported that Mr Aliko Dangote, the wealthy Nigerian businessman, did unveils plans to invest in Ghana’s sugar industry. That he wanted to help revitalize the country’s economy, and also help the country to grow and consume its own sugar. So Mr President what is holding you from pursuing these pledges to the letter or contacting the Brazilian or the Chinese to grant a loan for the Sugar production in the North through a local firm like Northern Sugar Resources.

Mr President, you may wish for intelligence on sugar production. Hence. Please spend time to read my last submission. Mr President, it was reported that Ghana actually consumes or import over 300,000 metric tons (430,000 metric tons in 2014) of refined sugar every year from Sugar Refinery Factories worldwide and this was what the Better Ghana Agenda of the NDC Administration under ex-President Mahama’s wanted to reverse.

So, Mr President, to fully reverse the situation, at least 300,000 tons of refined sugar must be produced per year in Ghana. It reported that sucrose recovery at a refinery is about 96% with raw sugar. Let say it is 100%, so you need over 2,000,000 metric tons of harvested Sugarcane because 15 tons of raw sugar is obtained for every 100 tons of sugarcane processed by crushing, milling and the extraction of raw sugar in a Sugarcane Mill (factory).

Hence, based on the history of sugarcane production (tonnage and variety) in Ghana, the climatic requirements of sugarcane in the face of erratic climatic condition in Ghana of two rainy seasons (major and minor), land use or availability problem, and the lack of irrigation system to sustain production of sugarcane, there is no way that Ghana can produce 2,000,000 metric tons of sugarcane in one year to reverse the trend at Komenda Sugar Production Series with recovery rate of between 40% and 50%.

The reversal or massive reduction of sugar importation may be possible if production is done in the North East of Ghana and Tiso due to the 75% recovery rate like Brazil and not India and supplement with raw sugar from Sugar Mills in the Western, Central and Ashanti Regions with the Sugar Refinery in Tema, or Takoradi or near Bonkira in Kumasi.

So, Mr President, if the Better Ghana Agenda or reason for the Komenda Sugar Factory is for reversing the huge expenditure of over 200million dollars spent annually on the importation of sugar as required in the Better Ghana Agenda of the previous NDC regime, then based on the principle of opportunity cost or comparative advantage, the best way was the Cargill’s option same as in India, which is even the second largest producer but established Two Refineries to refine imported raw sugar. So we should have located the Sugar Refinery at Tema or Takoradi near the harbor at cost of $100milion dollars type Cargill International for refining imported raw sugar say about 500,000 tons of raw sugar from Sugar mills worldwide including Ghana and supplement with raw sugar from local source including the yet to be established Sugar mill at Komenda to produce raw sugar for the Refinery and the byproducts of molasses for local gin distillers or for the Refinery to produce ethanol and bagasse for production of paper and electric power for the local or National grid and the Mill.

Hence, one can confidently declare that the State of Ghana missed the point with the establishment of the planned comprehensive Komenda Sugar Factory. There was no way the poorly established Komenda Sugar Factory can produce up to a charitable 30% of her capacity due to feedstock deficit hence no way to achieve the desired aim as in the Better Ghana Agenda.

Mr President I am not doing politics by doing Ghana or God’s work to help develop Ghana. Mr President, It is God who really chooses a Leader. Since no good Citizen of Ghana or good Christian or good Moslem wishes anything bad for Ghana, so, Mr President you will go down in the Political History as the best President of Ghana otherwise in the Fourth Republic, if and only if the Economic situation improves and because the good people of Ghana are praying for improvement, so it would improve, and the fact that the situation we found ourselves will help all Ghanaians including yourself to change our attitude and see Ghana First and work together to lift this Nation from the doldrums or downturn to upturn and beyond.

Yes, Mr President, you will go down in the Political History as the best President of Ghana otherwise in the Fourth Republic because of how you led us through the COVID-19 pandemic, with few casualties less than 5%. We are grateful to God for that because, Alive (active) First or life first, then we should be grateful to God for your programmes like the IDIF which is not solely by the State, but a partnership with private firms etc or State support policy, your one Constituency One Ambulance, the State Mining of the Bauxite and one of the biggest and very visible infrastructure in the North, the Tamale Interchange, the gate way to the North, coincidentally another landmark infrastructure by you, the Pokuase Interchange (please credit to be shared with Ex-President Mahama,) and especially your grand Flagship (battleship) to deal with illiteracy nationwide, that is the free SHS programme (note if not for education, Mr Kwabena Agyapong, the former Secretary of NPP would be no body today or Hon Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia, the indefatigable, General Secretary of the NDC, but for education would have been a palm taper in his village).

So Mr President, come out with 2-years recovery programme, reshuffle your team, work to increase production of rice, maize, and chicken, look for investor or a loan facility for sugar production series in the North East of Ghana and Tiso, with the Refinery to be at Tema and sell Komenda Sugar Refinery less the Sugar Mill and part of the land to an investor

Yours Citizen, Sir.

SIGNED

Major Mohammed Bogobiri (Rtd)

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