Members of the shippers community and other importers of foreign manufactured goods into the country have been advised to take advantage of government’s flagship industrialisation programme, the ‘One District, One Factory’ initiative, to ‘fortify’ the local economy.
Investing in the 1D1F, it is believed, will bring enormous benefit to Ghanaians, create employment, spread development, and minimise the importation of goods while helping to stabilise the local currency.
The Ashanti Regional Officer of the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI), Mr. Mamuda Osman, said although the initiative is not limited to Ghanaians, local importers should exploit it to set up factories that produce the things they import into the country as against investing in other economies.
“Instead of using these large sums of money to import from the countries – which does not create mass employment for Ghanaians – it could be channeled to create jobs within by way of setting up factories to produce these items.”
The Regional MoTI officer, at a presentation on 1D1F at the Ashanti Regional Shippers Committee meeting, indicated further that this will also create a “good image for the country when we have quality products moving outside its shores with ‘made in Ghana’ embossed on them”,
According to him, importers who are ready to submit proposals to the Trade Ministry would be readily given the needed technical support and attention to make real the intended project.
The 1D1F, he observed, seeks to address the challenges of severe poverty, mass unemployment and underdevelopment among peri-urban and rural communities by attracting private sector investments into rural development activities.
“It was designed as a comprehensive programme for rural industrialisation involving the setting-up of at least one medium-to-large-scale factory in each administrative district of the country.”
Among other things, he asserted that 1D1F focuses on the promotion of commercially viable business development initiatives to generate sustainable and accelerated economic development for rural communities.
He therefore encouraged importers to embrace the initiative and commit to changing the the local economy’s fortunes.
The Ashanti Regional Manager, of Ghana Shippers Authority (GSA), Mr. Emmanuel Kwarteng – apprising members on developments with the Boankra Inland Port Project earlier – revealed that efforts are ongoing to find a suitable investor to take over the project through a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement.
He disclosed that a number of submissions have been vetted and gave assurance that the quest to complete the project is on course.
On current developments at the various harbours of the country, some importers said clearance of goods with the introduction of a ‘Paperless Clearance System’ has become faster and less stressful.
Hitherto, some members alluded that it took them at least two weeks to clear their imports; however, it now takes at most four days to clear goods from the ports.
Again, instances of some of the goods being taken forcefully away as samples has now ceased, according to the importers.