Business News of 2014-04-20

Volta gets salt industry

Haruna Iddrisu, Minister for Trade and Industry (MOTI), has disclosed that plans are far advanced for the establishment of an integrated salt industry at the Keta Lagoon Basin in the Volta Region.

He said the project, when completed, would produce salt for both the local and foreign markets, adding that several investors, including a local company, had been identified for the execution of the project.

Mr. Iddrisu, who made this known at a press briefing in Accra, said, “It makes no sense that Nigeria will be importing salt from far away Brazil when they can find it in our corridor at either Keta or Ada.”

He said his outfit was collaborating with the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources to ensure that Nigeria imports salt from Ghana in the near future.

He said the Ministry in response to a presidential directive to strengthen the production capacity of local manufacturing firms, had initiated a process to support five companies in five priority sub-sectors of pharmaceutical, textiles and garments, agro-processing, poultry and wood-processing.

He said applications for funding from companies in the five sub-sectors had been forwarded to EDAIF for consideration while applications of two companies from the pharmaceutical sector had been approved.

Mr. Iddrisu said an Indian EXIM Bank facility of $35 million had been secured to commence work on the Komenda Sugar Factory.

A firm has won the contract to undertake the civil and engineering works, as well as the establishment of an irrigation scheme for high yielding sugarcane plantation to feed the factory.

Mr. Iddrisu said the factory is expected to create jobs, especially within the catchment area, adding that it would also help reduce the importation of sugar, which is currently estimated at 375,000 tons per annum.

He said another sugar factory would be established at Depale in the Northern Region where research had shown that the soil in the area is suitable for sugar cane production.

The Minister added that several companies had expressed interest in the project.

Source: Daily Guide
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