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Next NDC government will revamp strategic industries – John Mahama

John Dramani Mahamata Former president, John Dramani Mahama

Wed, 3 Apr 2024 Source: GNA

Former President John Dramani Mahama, flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), has promised to revamp some strategic industries in the country if voted into power come December 2024.

He said factories such as the Volta Aluminum Company (VALCO), would be revamped and reignited to make them more viable.

“We will work to revamp and reignite strategic industries such as Volta Aluminum Company (Valco) because of the aluminum downstream sector while boosting the production of rice, sugar, tomato, fish, meat and meat products, vegetable oil, and pharmaceutical products,” he said.

“Once local capacity in the production of these and many other products is boosted, we shall place restrictions on unbridled importation of these items,” he added.

The former President gave the assurance when he met with the leadership of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), in Accra, on Tuesday April 2,2024.

He was accompanied by the top brass of the Party, including the Running Mate for the 2024 elections, Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang.

The meeting was to, among other things, seek the input of captains of industries into the preparation of the Party’s manifesto.

Mahama said it was time Ghana shifted from the current import-dependent economy to an export driven one.

To achieve that, the former President said the next NDC government would partner industries to draft and implement an industrial policy to help transform the economy in line with his vision of building the “Ghana We Want Together.”

Under the policy, he said government would provide the needed support for large scale agricultural production to achieve food self-sufficiency and provide the much-needed raw materials to feed industry.

He added that under the policy, the next NDC government, would also incentivise indigenous private sector to enable them to assume lead roles in every sector of the economy to reduce the huge repatriation of profit, adding that government would prioritise Ghanaian businesses in procurement in its budget spending.

Mahama also promised to support all 16 regions to develop industries based on their comparative advantage and assured of government’s partnership with the private sector to set up industrial processing zones in the various regions, especially for crops such as palm, cashew, cotton, groundnuts, cocoa, soya, cassava and shea nut.

“All these will be integrated within the 24-Hour Economy Policy,” he said.

“I am aware that many industries are producing far below their capacities due to constraints such as availability of raw materials, access to credit, high utility tariffs, high taxes, access to markets among others.”

Under the 24-hour Economy Policy, he said, government would work with the private sector to address challenges that constraint their production capacity, adding that, that would boost production for both domestic consumption and export and create jobs for the teeming youth.

“We must achieve increased production in order that we can take advantage of the ETLS and the AfCFTA,” the former President added.

Mahama urged the current government to take responsibility for the current economic challenges such as the high taxes, irregular power supply and the high exchange rates and address them to bring relief to Ghanaians and businesses.

Dr Kwesi Ayim Darke, President of AGI, reiterated that the high cost of power, unstable power supply and high taxes were factors that made products uncompetitive both locally and externally.

To address the power situation, Dr Darke urged current and next governments to ensure full roll out of the country’s nuclear power plant to provide alternative and more stable power supply.

He also urged the next NDC government to scrutinise the country’s various bilateral trade treaties to ensure value for money.

Fifi Fiavi Kwetey, General Secretary of the NDC, said the next NDC government would be a listening one, which would pay attention to the plight of the ordinary person.

“We believe we’ve got a leadership that listens, a leadership that shows humility, a leadership that is able to take criticism on board, above all, a leadership that will not run away from taking responsibility,” he added.

Source: GNA