The Akufo-Addo government is not interested in cutting sods for the One District, One Factory projects when the ground works are not ready for those initiatives to take off, Gifty Ohene-Konadu, National Coordinator of the One District, One Factory Secretariat has said.
Ohene-Konady told journalists on Tuesday that: “I am not going to create white elephants so we will not cut sod just to excite people.”
She said “at the appropriate time when we have exhausted all the teething problems, we will line up the projects and cut sod to begin construction of the projects.”
The One District, One Factory programme aims to create 216 factories across the country by the end of the president’s first term in office in 2020.
The factories are meant to provide jobs for the unemployed youth within the 216 districts, municipalities and metropolitan areas.
It was one of the governing New Patriotic Party’s major campaign promises ahead of the 2016 polls.
Ohene-Konadu said the secretariat was currently going through the preparatory processes needed to be scaled before cutting sods for the projects to begin.
“The secretariat has so far engaged with different institutions whose activities are linked in one way or the other to the successful implementation of the policy. The secretariat and the financing institutions have the responsibility of selecting viable projects that have significant social impact in creating jobs and adding value to our local resources while at the same time meeting the demands of our debt financiers, that is the banks.
“The chiefs are very important in the scheme of affairs of this policy of one District, One Factory because one of the critical issues that we look at is the acceptance by the community because as I said and I keep repeating, we don’t want to create white elephants. If you site a project at a place and the community doesn’t want to accept it, it will become a white elephant,” she stressed.
She said the secretariat is also making sure all lands given for the factories are not sources of legal fights.
“The chiefs who are releasing lands, we are in constant touch with them because we want litigation-free lands. Again, we want to ensure that the land is properly owned by somebody because we’ve had experiences where lands have been released and later when projects spring up, people rise up and issues of ownership and all kinds of things come up and then it stalls the progress of the project.”