The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Robert Ahomka-Lindsay has said currently 45 of the One District One Factory projects are operational out of 181 projects already on the drawing board.
Aside from 22 of the 181 projects, which are under construction, the remaining projects are set to commence implementation before the end of 2019.
The projects set to commence by the end of 2019 include small scale processing facilities, common user processing facilities financed from sources ranging from local private finance initiatives (PFIs), African Development Bank (AfDB) and CNB facility.
Of the 181 factories on the drawing board, 52 of them are existing ones while the remaining 129 have been categorised as new, Mr Ahomka-Lindsay outlined.
Speaking on Citi TV’s The Point of View, he said his outfit expects all the 181 factories to “be up and running” by the end of 2019.
The Deputy Minister also explained that “none of these companies is fully owned by the government.”
“They are owned by the private sector. In fact, the President was very clear that it was going to be led by the private sector. Early on, in the journey, a number of people thought that the government was going to build these factories and create more elephants. Government is not very good at managing businesses.”
Mr. Ahomka-Lindsay underscored the government’s role in providing an enabling environment for these private businesses.
“Right now, we have to provide the impetus for industries to do the job,” he said.
In line with this, the government plans to facilitate access to credit, provide tax and non-tax incentives and also put in place district implementation support teams.
The government is also subsidising interest rates, which Mr. Ahomka-Lindsay described as a “key intervention”.
“One of the most difficult aspects of business is the cost of capital. It is very expensive. There are wonderful things we have done in the reduction of the interest rate… So one of the key intervention government has done, is to subsidise the interest rate for these businesses so that they end up paying just 10 percent of interest rate to the bank. This is a direct intervention to support them and not us running the business.”