As part of government’s flagship initiative One District, One Factory (1D1F), Universal Merchant Bank (UMB) – a partner bank to the initiative, pledging about US$100million – gets ready to unveil its sponsored factories numbering about 10 to 15 by the close of this year, as they are in the final phase of completion.
The 1D1F Initiative is being implemented – with business promoters being empowered and supported either to establish new factories or transform existing manufacturing enterprises – to contribute significantly to job creation across the country.
In an interview with the B&FT, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of UMB Nana Dwemoh Benneh said: “We have about 10 to 15 companies (under the 1D1F) that are almost ready to be showcased. Among them there are one or two significant ones which are set to be completed in the next three months, and as part of our 50th anniversary we will be showcasing them to the public.
“We have one of the two customers which are building a cassava processing factory in order to process cassava into industrial starch; we have one who’s into poultry to try and create poultry farms and feed.”
During the 2022 State of the Nation Address, President Nana Akufo-Addo said a total of 106 factories are currently operational under the One District, One Factory (1D1F) programme, with 148 under construction while 24 projects are at a mobilisation stage.
Explaining the projects’ delay, the CEO said: “With such projects it does have a lag-time to completion, and obviously COVID-19 slowed down some the process as well. This year we are seeing a number of these companies getting to completion, and we expect that by the time we get to end of the year we will actually see them start with their production and begin to see the benefit from it.
“By end of the year, we should be able to showcase some of them. Under the 1D1F agreement, we are serving as their partner banks; and government through the arrangement supports them by partly helping them with repayment of the loans tthey have taken, and cushions them in terms of the interest payment,” Mr. Benneh said.
Data on performance breakdowns of 1D1F companies from the Trade Ministry indicate a 40.6 percent participation for agro-processing companies: 43.9 percent being manufacturing companies, 7.9 percent as meat processing (livestock, poultry and fish) and 7.6 percent representing others.
Trade Minister Alan Kyerematen, in July 2021, told parliament that since inception of the programme government has successfully mobilised loans to the tune of GH¢2.69billion for over 100 1D1F companies from participating financial institutions (PFIs) on the back of interest subsidies – of which GH¢1.66billion has already been disbursed.
This amount, he said, has been leveraged through the disbursement by government of GH¢260.9million to de-risk loans and support interest payments.