President Akufo-Addo has promised the people of the Central Region that government would operationalise the Komenda Sugar Factory in the first quarter of 2022.
The $35 million factory, built from an Indian Exim Bank facility, has not worked since its commissioning in 2016.
The factory was revamped to revive the local production of sugar, thereby reducing the importation of the commodity. But after the commissioning of the factory nearly 5 years ago, the hopes of residents who were eager to get jobs have been dashed.
Speaking on a Cape Coast-based radio station, Eagle FM, on Monday, the President said even though the evaluation of the factory by the Trade Ministry pointed to the fact that the entire project was over-valued, government would not look on for the funds to go waste.
He announced that per arrangements made by the Ministry, by March 2022, the factory would be operationalised.
“First of all, a lot of money has gone into the Komenda Sugar Factory initiative, and when the Trade Ministry started looking into the funds pumped into the project and what we have got out of it, it turned out that the project was heavily overvalued.”
On the way forward for the project, the president revealed that despite the over-valuation, government looked for interested investors to take over the running of the project.
He explained that bids were invited, and an investor was chosen, but the selected strategic investor failed to meet the contract’s conditions, so the deal was cancelled.
“Right now, the Ministry of Trade is trying to get a technical partner, at least, to work on the factory. According to the arrangements by the Minister of Trade, by the first quarter of 2022, the factory would start running again,” he said.
The president further indicated the Komenda Sugar Factory is a big albatross around the government’s neck, but government would not think of abandoning it.
“It is not something we would say we are going to abandon. The funds have been wasted already, but we would push for its operation. Whatever be the case, the next time I visit Central Region, you would see the fulfilment of this promise,” he assured.
He laughed off former President Mahama’s approach in establishing the factory.
He said the approach used by the former administration relative to the establishment of the Komenda Sugar Factory goes against every viable business practice.
“That approach is akin to building a house starting from the roof,” he laughed.