President Nana Akufo-Addo says a new paradigm of economic development of insisting on value-addition industrial activities within a conducive and business-friendly environment, can make headway.
He said it is common knowledge that, in recent years, industry has not done well, as the growth rate in industry slumped to -0.5% in 2016, as opposed to a growth rate of 15.1%, at the end of 2008.
However, the President stated that “as a result of the normalisation of the power situation in the country, and the implementation of government’s pro-business policies, I believe our objective of shifting the focus of our economy from taxation to production is bearing fruit.
“In 2017, industry grew at 17.7%, a radically marked improvement on its abysmal 2016 performance in the last year of the Mahama administration.”
President Akufo-Addo made this known on Saturday when he commissioned the Twyford Ceramics Factory, at Shama, in the Western Region.
The President acknowledged that unless the country industrialises with the goal of adding value to our primary products, “we cannot create the necessary numbers of high-paying jobs that will enhance the living standards of the mass of our people.
“Raw material producing economies do not create prosperity for the masses. The way to ensuring access to prosperity is the industrial development of our economy.”
It is for this reason that the President congratulated the Chairperson, Board of Directors and Management of Sunda International for the decision to establish the factory in Shama.
The factory, he was confident, will not only reduce the country’s ceramic tiles import bill, and thus saving the country considerable sums of foreign exchange, but will also serve as a source of employment for many young men and women, resident in Shama.
“I am also happy to note that 95% percent of the factory’s raw material needs will be sourced locally. The promoters of this project should work towards increasing this figure to a 100% percent,” the President added.
Industrial Development Tariff
In furtherance of government’s commitment to improve the business environment, the President revealed that Ghana National Gas Company Limited (Ghana Gas) has responded favourably to the request of Twyford Ceramics Limited for a reduction of the price per unit gas supply to the company, and, indeed, to industries across the country.
“Through the new Industrial Development Tariff, authorised by the Minister for Energy, a new rate of $6.50 per Million British Thermal Units (MMBtu) has been approved for industry, as against the previous rate of US$8.84 per Million British Thermal Units (MMBtu). Ghana Gas notified the company of this in its letter dated November 22, 2017,” the President noted.
This Government, he said, “is determined to enhance the competitiveness of Ghanaian industries.”
President Akufo-Addo assured the partners of the project that, under his watch, Ghana will be a great place to do business.
“The experienced Minister for Trade and Industry will work with you to address any challenges that may arise, but, if, indeed, it becomes necessary, which I hope it will not, to go higher up the chain of authority.
“I want you to know that my doors will always be open. I do, on the other hand, insist that, on your part, you play according to the rules and regulations of the sector and the laws of the country as a whole,” he said.
The President wished all stakeholders in the project great success, adding that “we are on the threshold of something remarkable in Ghana, and I am pleased to have those involved in the Twyford Ceramics Factory as partners in our country’s exciting, new journey.”