The Minister of Trades and Industry, Alan Kyeremanteng has hinted his outfit’s ongoing probe revealed that those who built the factory have more questions to answer.
According to him, preliminary investigations have revealed that the NDC government intended selling the factory at a much-discounted price than the 12 million dollars his government is contemplating.
“They commissioned the factory in May and within two months they were already selling the factory. The evidence is clear. Those who were bidding for the factory two months after its commissioning go and look at the figures they were quoting,” Alan Kyeremanteng told participants at town hall meeting.
The former Minister of Trades and Industry, Ekow Spio-Garbrah, has since been absolving his government from blame. According to him the real value of the factory should not be a subject of media debate and speculations when sufficient records exist to back that claim.
“The fact is that, it is a loan from the Indian government so the Ministry of Finance can confirm from the India government if the value of the factory is 35 million dollar facility or not.
“Between the Ministry of Finance, Comptroller and Accountant-General and the Auditor-General, it can also be inferred how much of that money was disbursed towards the construction of the factory,” Spio Garbrah told Joy News.
Ekow Spio-Garbrah is a former minister of Trade and Industry
According to the former minister, if the facility is less than the estimated 35 million dollars, the government should then go ahead and pay just 12 million when servicing the loan to the Indian government or request a payback of the remaining 23 million dollars if the current government insist the project is just 12 million dollars.
Mr. Spio- Garbrah explained further that the government cannot hide beyond depreciation to fault his government. According to him when any project is abandoned its value depreciates. The government may, therefore, have to answer for the depreciated value since it was the government’s decision not to use the factory all these years.
“All machinery needs to be maintained, oiled and greased on a periodic basis. But if a government chooses to leave a factory with all of its equipment to rot, then obviously, you will not have the value you had before. The current government simply wants to shift responsibility for their causing a loss to the state,” he added.
Alan Kyeremanten is the minister for Trade and Industry
Mr. Spio-Garbrah, however, denied any claim that his government wanted to sell the factory for far less than the 12 million dollars. “I was not involved in any such transaction,” he told Joy News’ Ernest Manu.
Revealing what transpired, he said that the government made of civil servants and politicians. were not going to run a sugar factory. They had therefore advertised for a private sector involvement for which a strategic investor was ready to pay 25 million dollars for 70 percent stake in the factory.
The back and forth has incensed people of the community who look up to the running of this factory to provide jobs for them.