President John Dramani Mahama yesterday inaugurated new production lines for GIHOC distilleries in Accra, and reiterated his commitment to pursue national industrialisation to enhance local production and job creation.
He said his government remained focused on driving industrial efficiency through complete retooling of factories and implementation of policies that would ensure their sustainability.
“Part of my vision is to recapture the dreams of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah regarding industrialisation, and step- by- step, we are doing that either in the model of a complete state- owned enterprise or through Public Private Partnerships”, he said.
He cited the revamping of the Kumasi Shoe factory, Komenda Sugar factory, Tema Oil Refinery, GIHOC and State Transport Corporation as indicative of the government’s determination to revive state owned Enterprises.
In addition, he said the Tema Shipyard would be handed over to the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority to take charge of its revival and realise its potentials.
He was delighted about the remarkable progress achieved by GIHOC which had been revived from the verge of collapse into a profitable and competitive company.
According to him, the remarkable achievement by the company and its expanded operations dispel the erroneous impression the state owned industries were unsustainable and bound to fail.
He said the government would continue to retool industries across the country to operate effectively to create jobs and reduce the import of goods.
Touching on the issue of raw materials for the Komenda factory, he noted that government settled on the unpopular model, backward integration, which allows for factories to be set up before creating the off-take for raw materials, in resuscitating the Komenda Sugar factory to serve as an incentive for farmers to engage in the cultivation of sugar cane.
He charged managers of state owned companies to strive towards making the companies competitive and contribute towards the development of the country.
Dr. Kay Kwao Simmonds, Managing Director of GIHOC Distilleries said the success of the company was as a result of the implementation of a strategic plan involving the rebuilding of the production plant and structures to make the factory more efficient and competitive.
She noted that the systems enabled the company to increase production, resulting in the employment of an extra workforce and making it a reference point for technical colleges for industrial attachment.
Addressing the perennial flooding which disrupted operations of the company over the years, the MD said the factory had been totally rebuilt by raising the floor half a metre with an efficient drainage system to curtail the occurrence of flooding.
By Claude Nyarko Adams and Hellena Teye