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General News Wed, 4 Sep 2019

You don’t own a car, how can you establish a factory? – MCE to American investor

The MCE for Yendi, Alhaji Hammed Abubakari Yussif has said that, a US national seeking to establish a factory in his Municipality does not sound convincing that he is capable of doing so because he does not own a car.

According to the MCE, anytime the man visited his area on issues of establishing the factory, he does not come with his own car but always driven by rented tricycles (“Yellow Yellow” as called in the North).

“You have been seeing him in your communities, somebody coming to establish a factory, have you ever seen him riding his own bicycle to your place, has he ever come with a motorbike, does he have a car, nothing. He always comes with a rented yellow yellow and you believe that, this person in a yellow yellow can establish a factory” the MCE quizzed.

Alhaji Hammed Abubakari Yussif was responding to a petition delivered to him by some Farmers in the Yendi Municipality who embarked on a peaceful march against government for its failure to grant a letter of Intent to a company that want to establish a factory in the area.

Before the march

The New Patriotic Party secretary for the Yendi Constituency, Bawa Fuseini Zakaria who is also the NHIS manager in Yendi had threatened farmers in the area not to embark on the march and any attempt to do it will have them attacked.

The march the secretary believes will make their government unpopular. The MCE on his part also went on live radio to threaten the farmers, saying that if they embark on the march and anything happen to them he would not intervene.

Demonstration

Farmers in the Yendi Municipality staged a demonstration against government over failure to grant a letter of intent to Alaafie Foods Limited to establish a factory in the area.

This is because the company which submitted its proposal to the government to set up a soya and vegetable factory in the area has been denied approval. According to the farmers, the company when established would relief them from their farming challenges hence their demonstration.

In a petition by the farmers to the MCE of Yendi, they appealed to the MCE and president Akufo-Addo to intervene for the company to be given a letter of intent to be able to secure funds from U.S to establish the factory.

Background

Alafei Foods Limited, a company co-owned by Tamale based Adam Awal and Claude Convisser of America applied to set up the factory in Zugu, a community in the Yendi Municipality.

It was the first company to submit its proposal to the government to set up a soya and vegetable factory under the 1D1F to meet the protein and vitamin needs of the Ghana School Feeding Program in the Northern region.

The company, according to the owners submitted its first proposal in March 2018 to the former Gender Minister, Otiko Afisah Djaba and an updated proposal submitted in November the same year to the current Gender minister, Cynthia Morrison after the exit of Otiko Djaba.

The corporate purpose of the company, the managers said is to support farmers and communities to grow jatropha trees and food crops in partnership with POP diesel Africa, an oil company and manage trust estates for farmers prudently.

Farmers collaborating in the joint venture will be paid twice, once at the time of harvest and second time later in the year from a portion of the profits derived from value-added processing of their crops grown in partnership with and sold to the company, the managers said.

POP diesel, an oil company in the United States which will give funding to Alafei Foods Limited has also given all of its ownership share of its Africa branch, POP diesel Africa to the Alafei Food farmers irrevocable Trust. This means that the company if set up in Zugu, will employ over 30,000 farmers and supply to the GSFP at a lower cost.

Owners of the company also told Starr News, that the company’s proposal to set up the factory has been unanimously approved by the Yendi Municipal Assembly, Northern regional GSFP coordinator and all the relevant stakeholders in the municipality except the Northern regional minister, Salifu Saeed.

However, upon following all the necessary procedures to get the factory set up, the government is on the verge of shattering the dreams of Northern farmers.

The Government according to the Managing Director of Alafie Foods, Claude Convisser, has diverted from Alafei Foods Limited, which is to set up its production factory in the North to a Sunyani based company called YEDENT to supply the GSFP in the North.

He told Starr News that, in a meeting between the operations manager at the GSFP head office, madam Doris and Alafei Foods on May 7, 2019, she revealed that her outfit has a private relationship with Sunyani based YEDENT company which according to her is confidential, reason why Alafei Foods is denied a letter of intent.

Mr. Claude added that, several efforts also made by the company to schedule a meeting with the Gender minister proved futile, an indication of government’s deliberate attempt to deny his company a letter of intent as well as people of Yendi municipality their own share of its flagship program 1D 1F.

Source: starrfm.com.gh