Adidome, (V/R) April. 16, GNA - The imminent closure of the Juapong Textiles Limited (JTL), one of the few industries in the Volta Region featured prominently in discussions at the Peoples Assemblies in the Volta Region.
Most contributors were of the view that government was shirking its responsibility of protecting local industries against inferior and unfairly cheap imports.
About 1,200 people would lose their jobs along with several indirect jobs if JTL shuts down.
"JTL remains one of the few industries in the region which government could have saved from its demise," Mr Anthony Bedzo, a Teacher said at the Adidome Assembly on Thursday.
Similar concerns were raised at the Assemblies at Denu, Keta, Sogakope and Akatsi.
Mr Bedzo advised that existing industries be protected as efforts were made to attract new ones.
Mr Kofi Dzamesi, Volta Regional Minister, accompanied by Madam Theresa Tagoe, Deputy Minister, Lands and Mines, Mr Joe Ghartey, Deputy Attorney-General and Dr Gladys Ashietey, Deputy Minister of Health said government was still intent on building a private sector led economy. He blamed smuggling and the importation of cheap second hand items for crippling local industries, particularly those in the textiles sector.
Mr Dzamesi said his office was in touch with the Dutch managers of the JTL over the possibility of attracting other investors to the company.
Madam Tagoe said government would keep education free in addition to providing one hot meal a day at the basic level throughout the country.
Mr. Nicholas Ahiadorme, North-Tongu District Chief Executive (DCE) said apart from seeking explanations to government policies from the formal sources, the people should also seek clarifications through their Assembly Members.