The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu has described the Ministry of Trade and Industry’s planned sale of the Komenda Sugar Factory as a rip-off.
He explained that the decision to sell the Indian government-financed entity defied logic and has potential to damage existing relationship between the two governments.
“It is a rip-off to want to sell Komenda Sugar Factory for $12 million, when was a competitive bid placed for an assessment of it? Who did the technical assessment of it?
“The Minister of Trade and Industry must answer, what he is doing is not in public’s interest and not in public good, three years since its commissioning, the $35 million factory remains defunct,” Mr Iddrisu noted.
The president in September 2018 disclosed that government is in the process of finding a strategic investor to revive the “debt-ridden and idle” factory, the sale is due to deficiencies including unavailability of sugarcane in sufficient quantities in the catchment area and the government’s inadequate working capital required to make it functional.
Subsequently, Mr Alan Kyeremanten, the Minister of Trade and Industry told Parliament in April this year, the factory will be sold to a new investor at a depreciated value of $12 million.
Calling on the government to halt the intended sale Mr Iddrisu stressed that “it will be complete fraud if it is sold for $12 million, contrary to reports the factory cost $35 million to construct, investment into the factory is estimated at $60 million.
“Aside from initial $35 million which was provided by the Indian government, the Export Development and Investment Fund (EDIF) contributed to constructing access road to the factory which was $3.5 million, we are now talking of $38.5 million and not $35 million.
“Upon a realisation the factory lacked sugarcane to process into sugar, the Indian government provided an additional $24.5 million to assist the government in development of ancillary irrigation, support farming of sugar cane, the government has accessed the $24 million, why will you go beyond $24 million plus $37 million to descend to $12 million?
“To rescind planned sale will also undermine public trust in elected representatives at a time the country is spending much to import sugar, we are spending $300 to $450 million every other year to import sugar,” Mr Iddrisu bemoaned.