Gov’t doesn’t have skills to run sugar factory – Nduom
Founder and leader of the Progressive People's Party (PPP), Dr . Paa Kwesi Ndoum, has suggested that President John Dramani Mahama and his administration lack the required capacity to effectively run a business such as the Komenda Sugar Factory.
The renowned entrepreneur, who has criticized what he calls the hasty opening of the recently Komenda Sugar Factory , questioned the rationale behind government's decision to among others borrow money to start running the factory, aside the challenge of lacking the raw material to power it.
He says the decision to borrow all the money needed as startup capital for the factory, breaches the rules of entrepreneurship.
“We will keep talking about Komenda Sugar Factory until we know that the right thing is done. There are some things that you don't do and there are other things that you must do…You don't go and borrow almost 100% of the money you need to start . You must have your own equity, a little bit to put there so you know you are in there…We the Ghana government we put in some 1.5 million dollars to start and then we say we are going to borrow another 25 million dollars to now build irrigation canal and help people grow sugarcane. You have destroyed rule number one for entrepreneurship.”
He further stated that government should have secured the needed raw materials even before moving ahead to construct the factory.
“Rule number 2 says you must be certain of the arrangement for raw materials before you start building the factory and it is not just raw materials at any cost. Raw materials that will allow you to be able to in the future pay back the investments that you have made…”
The former Komenda Edina Eguafo Abbrem(KEEA) legislator, also emphasized the need for government to set up what he calls a defined management that will be responsible for the running of the factory.
“There must also be a defined management, people should be responsible for any factory or any project. I keep asking who is in charge of this factory. Is it the President, is it the Minister of Trade, is it the Central Regional Minister? Who is in charge because over these past few days whenever this issue is raised, some different person comes to answer. Don't we have people there in Komenda who are in charge of the factory? Who is the Managing Director, who is the PRO there? Who do we hold accountable?We cannot hold John Mahama accountable, his time will come and he will go. When he goes, who will be there? I know those things because I have experience in building business, in building a factory. He[Mahama] doesn't know it. It is not that he is a bad person but he doesn't have that experience. That talent has not been given to him, that talent is with Papa Kwesi Ndoum.”
Addressing journalists in Accra on Wednesday, Dr. Ndoum also cited the poor management of the Ayensu Starch Factory and the Pwalugu Factory, as clear examples of governments' inability to effectively run a business.
“The Ayensu Starch Factory went through the same problem . In my own backyard again, the same government went to India also and got money to build a fish processing plant but go there and find out if they are processing any fish there .What was their initial projection and what are they experiencing now. Just like we went to rehabilitate the Pwalugu Tomato factory and today they have put some of the crops for those tomatoes in bags, they are in containers sitting there, nothing done with them and yet we don't want to learn,” he fumed.
By: Marian Ansah/citifmonline.com/Ghana