The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, is reported to have charged chiefs, particularly those in the Asante Region, to reserve lands for investment and industrial purposes to enhance development in their respective areas of jurisdiction.
The Ashanti King, in the story, which was carried in the Tuesday May 16, 2017 edition of The Chronicle, with the headline; “Reserve Lands For ‘1 District, 1 Factory’ Project … Otumfuo Tells His Chiefs”, said it is incumbent on chiefs to reserve parcels of land in readiness for the ‘One District, One Factory’ policy.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, who was speaking at a meeting of the Asanteman Council in Kumasi last Monday, said it was not prudent for chiefs to delight in monetary gains from proceeds of the sale of lands, without considering investments in the said lands.
The Ashanti King explained that the value of lands should be seen in the level of employment to be created, noting that more jobs in their traditional areas, through industrialisation, would promote proper development.
The Chronicle believes that the 'One District One Factory Project', known to the project coordinators as the ODOF Project, is a critical developmental intervention, which promises to produce strategic outcomes such as: high enterprise competitiveness, high levels of productivity, and expanded access to regional and international markets.
The project is also expected to improve balance of trade differentials, increase business revenue levels, high job creation, eradication of poverty, high level sustainable business practices, bolster national economic revenue, and improve livelihoods among others.
Economically, the intervention of the ODOF Project will be the source to catapult Ghana’s industrialisation and economic transformation agenda.
Consequently, The Chronicle thinks there is the need to establish an effective and workable management system for the project, in order for the government to achieve its objectives of creating jobs for the people.
It is thus imperative to have a governance system, which ensures accountability and transparency, as well as gives approval for the strategic direction, financial and human resource plans of the ODOF Project.
The government must also give direction for the review of management performance, organisational controls and risk management, compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements or guidelines, ethical behaviour, conflict of interest policies, disclosure, reporting and audits.
The corporate governance system for the ODOF Project should spell out the roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders, and what ought to be done, in order to execute and accomplish the roles and responsibilities efficiently.
In the estimation of the paper, President Akufo-Addo must exercise overall leadership for the ODOF Project, with support from the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Local Government, Donors, Private Business Service Providers, and the Polytechnics/Technical Universities.
The Governing and Management Council, which will provide the strategic direction for efficient management of the project, ought to be constituted with representatives from the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Local Government, and Office of the President.
The Chronicle wants to commend the Asantehene once again, for showing the way, by charging his chiefs to make land available for such a project.
Now that the Ashanti King has pointed his charges in the right direction, we are urging other high ranking officials, especially top business executives, to encourage those around them to put their shoulders to the wheel, to ensure that the ODOF Project becomes a reality.