Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah
A leading member of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) and a former Minister of Trade, Ekwow Spio-Garbrah has provided a clarification on his argument that the NDC may have built over 1000 factories in Ghana.
In a Facebook post on Friday [January 10, 2020], Spio-Garbrah explained that if the current New Patriotic Party (NPP) government was taking credit for factories being built by private individuals, then the NDC can equally argue that it supervised the construction of over 1000 factories by private individuals.
To Mr Spio-Garbrah if the NPP is taking credit for factories being built by individual businessmen as factories being built under the government’s “One District One Factory” initiative, then the NDC could also lay claim to over 1,000 factories built during its last administration with government’s support.
Below is the post
My attention has been drawn to a widely circulating news story to the effect that “NDC built over 1,000 factories under Mahama”.
The headline of the story misrepresents the central point I made in the interview that generally it is NOT governments or political parties that build factories but rather individual entrepreneurs. However, my argument is that if the NPP government under Nana Addo wishes to take credit for the factories built by various businessmen and then Commissioned under the One District, One Factory slogan, then the NDC too under President Mahama could claim to have built a thousand factories as at least that number of factories were built by individuals with the help of various Government agencies under the Mahama government. The difference, I noted, was simply that the NDC didn’t develop slogans for that specific achievement …
I have challenged those who wish to do the maths to check the records at the Ghana Free Zones Board, the National Board for Small-Scale Industries, the Rural Enterprises Programme which supported Business Assistance Centres in some 160 District Assemblies around the country, EDAIF now Ghana Eximbank, the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, Ghana Export Promotion Centre, MASLOC, the Youth Enterprise Scheme, as well as projects supported by Ghana Commercial Bank, National Investment Bank and the Agric Development Bank for the period 2012-2016. Indeed, as long as the NPP government can only lay claim to providing an enabling environment for individuals to establish their own factories rather than government establishing factories, then even the support given by many commercial banks and savings and loans to factories during the Mahama regime could be claimed by that government as among its achievements.
My obvious point is that under both the NPP and NDC regimes it is private people establishing factories with the help of the government. Government’s help comes in various forms, from the work of the Registrar General’s office to that of Ghana Revenue Authority and numerous agencies in-between…so if we use the yardstick being applied by the NPP to take credit for establishing factories, then NDC too can take credit for helping to establish at least a 1,000 factories under Mahama administration…
I have underlined in interviews that the 1D1F is simply about private people’s factory projects often already established or about to be established which the NPP government wraps the national or NPP flags around them and claim they are projects established by them NPP…
It is the Nkrumah government which we all know built more than 300 state-owned enterprises including factories. Tue forbears of the NPP sold most of these factories to themselves and cronies after Nkrumah’s overthrow. The only factory truly built by the State under either Mahama or Akufo-Addo is the Komenda Sugar Factory, which the NPP government has allowed to rot.