Member of Parliament for Komenda Edina Eguafo Abirem Constituency, Mr Samuel Atta Mills, is alleging that the Komenda Sugar Factory has been taken over by reptiles and rodents.
Expressing his disappointment with Trades and Industry Minister Alan Kyerematen’s answers to parliament on Thursday, 22 July 2021, concerning the delayed operationalization of the factory, the brother to late President John Atta Mills, said: “Let’s be clear: this government, the NPP government, has no intention of operationalisng the Komenda Sugar factory”.
He explained: “I say so because from the minister’s answers that he’s been giving us, and all the time moving the goalpost”.
“I don’t think they care about Komenda Sugar factory”, he intimated, illustrating: “Look at how much it has deteriorated since 2016? Didn’t you hear the same minister say when they came to power that the sugar factory never produced sugar? What happened during his vetting for the second term that he admitted that they produced sugar? My goodness! It’s a big difference between night and day”.
He said the factory, located in his constituency, “is now being invaded by snakes and rats”.
It is also at the mercy of the weather, he bemoaned.
“Everything is opened to the open skies and things are just the same way that we left in 2016. Nothing has been done”, Mr Mills complained.
“But do you know the sad part? This factory, in operation, has the potential to hire direct and indirect 7,500 people”, he noted.
In his view, the Akufo-Addo government has played politics with the factory.
“It is sad that when it comes to things like this, we try to play politics. But guess what? They brought this same president to my constituency to cut the sod for a One District-One Factory Company that makes pure water. At that time, the company was hiring 25 people. You leave a 7,500-job factory just to go and cut the sod for a factory that hires over 25 people”.
What Mr Alan Kyerematen Told Parliament
On Thursday, 22 July 2021, Mr Kyerematen told parliament that the factory will be operationalised before the end of 2021.
“I have instructed the transaction advisor to ensure that the condition precedent to the concession agreement and the roadmap for the opening of the factory is finalised by the end of August 2021 to enable operational activities at the factory to commence before the end of the year,” Mr Kyerematen said.
Park Agrotech Ghana Limited, a Ghanaian-Indian company, is the new investor that will take over the operations of the factory.
The Ghana-based company is a subsidiary of the Skylark Group of Companies of India, one of the largest integrated farming businesses in India.
The factory, built at a cost of $35 million from an Indian Exim Bank facility, was revamped and inaugurated by the erstwhile Mahama administration in 2016 and closed down in June of the same year and has since remained dormant.
It has a capacity to crush 1,250 tonnes of sugarcane per day.
The Akufo-Addo government cited a number of reasons for the factory’s dormancy, including an improper implementation plan and insufficient raw materials to feed the plant, among others.
The brother of the late President Mills, however, wondered, at the time, how, within a year, the value of the factory could plummet by $23 million as plans were afoot to hand it over to the strategic investor by close of April 2019.
In the view of the MP, the Auditor-General and the Special Prosecutor’s office had to investigate the matter.
“We cannot sit down for these things to happen. If somebody was to steal two goats and a chicken, we all know how many years this person will get [in jail], but I am basing my conclusion on this: that if it is true that it has been valued at $12 million, we need to be very worried in this country,” he said.
“Why should it always be on acquiring wealth in illegal ways?” he questioned.