VALCO and ATL back in business

Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has assured the public of government’s commitment to implementing its industrialisation plan designed to transform the Ghanaian economy.

He said government would continue to offer incentives to local industries similar to those offered to foreign companies wishing to set up businesses in Ghana.

Vice President Bawumia said such incentives had already been offered to a number of local industries, leading to the gradual revival of well-known household names like the Tema-based aluminium smelter, Volta Aluminium Company (VALCO) and garment producing Akosombo Textiles Limited (ATL).

Similar thinking, he explained, went into the Policy of ‘One District, One Factory’ to bring about rural industrialisation and ensure value addition to primary products, while providing jobs and growing the national economy.

“Whatever incentives we give to foreign companies wishing to set up in Ghana, whatever the industry, we will offer the same to Ghanaian companies so we can revive and/or grow our local industries too,” he said.

The Vice President said this when he delivered the keynote address at the opening of the Ghana Industrial Summit and Exhibition in Accra.

It was on the theme: “International Partnerships for Value-Added Industrial and Local Content Development,” organised by the Association of Ghana Industries, in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

The Summit aims at providing opportunity for stakeholders to deliberate on ways to ensure the growth and sustenance of the Ghanaian economy.

“Special industry-tailored policies and programmes are also being implemented by the Government, with a view to ensuring that newly revived companies not only find their feet, but also contribute to national development and into the overall plan for increased value-addition to ensure greater earnings,” the Vice President said.

“In the case of VALCO for instance, Parliament has passed a law to establish the Ghana Integrated Bauxite and Aluminum Development Corporation in order to build a complete value chain for the mining, refining and smelting of Ghana’s bauxite to ensure value addition so that we earn more from the exploitation of our natural resources.”

“That is a multi-billion value chain, VALCO is a key part of this value chain, and we hope to get them operating at 100 per cent soon,” he said, adding that ATL, for example, was dead but the Government had been able to revive it, which had started operations.

“As you all know, we are going to be recruiting 100,000 graduates under the Nation Builders Corp (NABCO), in a few weeks. The 100,000 graduates will have some uniforms, and we are making sure that those uniforms are produced in Ghana, and ATL is producing those uniforms.

“Once the uniforms are produced, as you know, each constituency is going to provide about 350 graduates for NABCO. We are also insisting that the local tailors in these constituencies are the ones that are going to sew the uniforms, so that we can have some economic activities at that level too.”

Similar policies to ensure value addition are also being examined for the oil and the petro-chemical industry, as well as iron ore deposits in the Northern Region, which influenced the decision to extend the Western and Eastern spines of the railway network to Paga and Hamile.

This is to enable the setting up of industries in the area, with government keen to ensuring local Ghanaian participation in the extraction and exploitation of natural resources.

Vice President Bawumia said although a number of foreign companies had signalled their intent to take advantage of the Akufo-Addo Government’s business-friendly policies, including global automotive giant VW and Sinotruk International, China’s first heavy duty truck manufacturer, Government would take a holistic, forward-looking stance in the design of the policies.

“We’re not looking at it in the context of one supplier, like VW. We’re looking at a policy that applies to the entire automobile industry. We’ve had discussions, for example, with our local producers like Kantanka.

“We will, therefore, make sure that whatever incentives we’re providing to all these people who are interested in coming here, like the Nissans and VWs, are also available to the Kantankas of Ghana,” the Vice President said.

Source: GNA

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