Some owners of small scale oil processing factories in the Eastern Region have appealed to the government for support to expand their businesses.
According to the operators, most of whom operate with using the traditional hand processing methods said their inability to procure basic machines in their business is limiting their production capacity.
They said government’s intervention will go a long way to help them.
The operators made the appeal when the Eastern Regional Minister, Eric Kwakye Darffour and the Chairman of the Eastern/Volta branch of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), Dela Gadzanku visited the companies.
The Minister visited the Lower West Akyem Municipality, through the Denkyembour District and ended up at the Kwaebibirem Municipality where he also visited the Ghana Oil Palm Development Company (GOPDC) Limited, the nation’s largest oil processing company.
The Minister, Eric Kwakye Darfour advised the small-scale factories to seek support from the Business Advisory Committees (BAC) within the District Assemblies.
Mr. Darfour also advised the companies to take advantage of the AGI to register with them so that the association can take up some of their challenges and champion it for them.
The Chairman of the Eastern and Volta Regional branch of AGI, Mr Dela Gadzanku, also assured the management of the factories of the association’s readiness to support them.
He encouraged the operators of the factories to not lose hope.
At the Ghana Oil Palm Development Company, Gangdhar Shetty, the Chief Commercial Officer of the company, pleaded with the government to reconsider their stand on the benchmark valuation set by the government. He stated that, the benchmark valuation reduce the price on imported goods and becomes a disservice to local producers. “We are appealing to the government to take a second look at that, otherwise it is going to have negative impact on the manufacturing sector. That means it is going to impact on employment and also increase import against locally manufactured products. Especially you know we are the biggest victim because we are from the grassroots manufacturing so it is affecting us very badly and because it affects price of the finished product we have to pass it on to the grassroots consumers,” he said.
The Regional Minister assured them of government’s support to be able to thrive.
“The entity offering about 4,500 direct jobs with about 10,000 out growers are benefiting and so it must be supported at all cost to thrive,” he said.
No intention to Kill Local Business
The Technical and Economic Advisor at the office of the Vice President, Dr Samuel Kojo Frimpong who was part of the minister’s entourage stated that Nana Akufo Addo’s administration will do everything possible to help them.
He explained that “we will do our best to support the local industry for them to be able to thrive and also create more jobs and to be able to perform and meet the competition out there in the market”.
He stated that, he was impressed with the progress of the factories he witnessed during the tour.
He spoke about available facilities meant to help the small scale industries.
“What the government can do to support them is that we have a couple of facilities that we use to assists them. We have what we call the MASLOC as we try to connect them to the regional MASLOC so that when it is beyond them they can take it to the national level for the needed assistance. We also have the small business enterprises that are helping with training and other human resource development to be able to help them” he said.
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