'I never said Akufo-Addo can't build 216 factories' - Mustapha Hamid
Information Minister Mustapha Abdul-Hamid has denied ever saying in an interview that President Nana Akufo-Addo cannot build all the 216 factories that the New Patriotic Party promised in the lead-up to the 2016 general elections.
Mr Abdul-Hamid was quoted as saying on Wednesday, 4 April in an interview with Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen political talk show that: “…President Akufo-Addo was virtually saying that for this country to improve, it is a country that we can get one district one factory, and that when he gets the power he will put in place measures to make sure that dream is fulfilled. So he may not in the four years or eight years be able to establish a factory for every district, but whatever it is, even if he is able to do 100 or 200, any successive president can continue with the projects, then [it will mean that] we are moving towards President Akufo-Addo’s Ghana beyond aid agenda.”
However, speaking to Moro Awudu on Class91.3FM’s Executive Breakfast Show on Thursday, 5 April, the president’s spokesperson said: “… The questioner, and I’m happy [that you’ve asked this question] because yesterday [Wednesday], people said that I said the president can’t [build the 216 factories], no, I didn’t say that.
“He [Ekosii Sen host] asked a question and this is an answer to a question.
“He says: ‘What if at the end of eight years, you don’t get all 216 districts have a factory?’ And I said: ‘Of course, if we don’t get it at that time, it is a vision that I believe ultimately will help us to get to a Ghana beyond aid, and, therefore, it is a vision that even if we don’t realise all 216, we believe that any president that comes after that will see that it is a good vision and then will continue,” he explained.
Using former President John Mahama’s promise in the lead-up to the 2012 elections, to build 200 senior high schools to buttress his point, Mr Abdul-Hamid said: “For example, President Mahama said he was going to do 200 Community Day Schools, he managed to complete eleven, we are continuing with those projects. Right now as I speak, I think we’ve pushed it to nearly 30 complete and we aim to complete all the 200. We are not going to abandon them.
“So, it is in the same vein that I said that even if your question is valid that at the end of eight years we don’t have 216, what happens, I said what happens is that every president would be mandated or I think would continue but I’m not saying that we can’t, we’re doing it, we’re determined to do it, we’re committed to doing it,” he stressed.
Giving an update about the One District-One Factory programme, Mr Abdul-Hamid said the coordinator of the programme, “has said that where we are, to quote her, is that 70 projects have now passed the screening stage, they now have passed to be funded to take off. … [These are feasible projects] that can now go, so that is where we are, she says that for about seven of them, the banks have actually put in the money and that the real physical manifestation of these projects in the districts will happen”.