Business News of 2014-01-15

New EDAIF Board inaugurated

Mr Haruna Iddrisu, Minister of Trade and Industry on Tuesday inaugurated a new Board for the Export Trade, Agricultural and Industrial Development Fund (EDAIF).

The 13 -member Board is under the Chairmanship of Professor Richard Bani, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering Sciences, University of Ghana, Dr Nashiru Issahaku, Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana and former EDAIF Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr Barfour Osei, EDAIF CEO and Mr Gideon Quarcoo, CEO of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority.

The others are Dr Kwame A. Amezah, Alexander Ackuaku, Robert Barhwola-Tindana, Johanua Awotwi, Gerald Nyarko-Mensah and Komlah Messan.

Mr Iddrisu in his inaugural address in Accra said the new EDAIF Act empowered the Agency to provide financial resources for the development and promotion of export trade and to facilitate agro-processing and industrial development.

He tasked the new Board to ensure competition among Ghanaian industries and to leverage the private sector to facilitate its growth.

He further urged them to endeavour to reduce the bureaucratic bottlenecks associated with the disbursement of the EDAIF Fund, declaring that the EDAIF Fund must be unlocked from the Bank of Ghana by the Board for it to be used for the very purpose for which it was established.

The Minister advised the Board to assist the youth, under the Youth Entrepreneurship Programme of the President, which aims at empowering the youth in the area on small and medium scale enterprises.

He encouraged the Board to use the stimulus package programme announced in this year’s budget for the private sector to help poultry farmers, the local pharmaceutical industry, vegetable and flower producers, and other sectors such as irrigation development.

He said government was committed to reducing the importation of poultry products into the country, in order to facilitate the growth of the poultry industry in Ghana.

He said government had not banned the importation of rice but rather instituted measures for it to be imported through three ports, namely the Kotoka International Airports (KIA), Tema and Takoradi ports.

Mr Iddrisu charged the Board to ensure that the perishable cargo section of the KIA was expanded to create more space for the export market, adding that, perishable cargo sections should be created at the Kumasi and Tamale Airports.

He said the Tariffs Advisory Board was studying the recent issue of importation of cheap cements into the country and would soon come out with its recommendations for government to act on.

He said EDAIF and the National Board for Small Scale Industries must collaborate to ensure that in each administrative district of Ghana, there was a major industrial programme, stating that, EDAIF must establish its presence in all the regional capitals.

The Minister said it was the desire of government that the shea nut industry becomes the economic backbone of the northern sector, urging EDAIF to take up the issue very seriously.

He admonished the Board to ensure that the disbursement of EDAIF fund is not politicized, declaring that, support should be given to all Ghanaians whose businesses fall within the mandate of the EDAIF.

Prof Bani, on behalf of the members, expressed gratitude to President Mahama for the honour done them and assured that they would use their experiences and talents to ensure that the purpose for which the EDAIF was set up was achieved.

Source: GNA
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