Minister for Trade and Industries, Mr Alan Kyerematen says during the tenure of former President John Mahama the Komenda Sugar Factory was put up for sale just two months after it had been inaugurated.
Mr Kyerematen disclosed this in a Meet The Press section on May 7, 2019.
“They [Mahama government] commissioned the factory in May. In two months, they were already selling the factory”
“They had recruited”, he went on, “a transaction advisor to offload 70 per cent of their interest and the evidence is clear”, adding that: “Those who were even bidding two months after that, go and look at the figures they were quoting to buy a new factory”.
“Consequently”, Mr Kyerematen note, “all the work that has been done and the people who have expressed interest in Komenda [sugar factory] said that that factory cannot cost $35 million”.
“And right from that, we’ve issued a request for a forensic audit, so, people have to come and explain”, he said, explaining: “You’ve collected money, people have to answer. $35 million dollars, [yet] everybody who comes is saying that this thing cannot cost $35 million, so, the valuation they do now, how do we account for that? And remember this is not about the government doing the valuation. Because of the reports that were coming out, I said: ‘No, you cannot have the situation where everybody is saying this thing cannot cost $35 million, so, PricewaterhouseCoopers, do another independent valuation’; the valuation was $12 million and it is consistent with the work that my deputy and the independent technical team also did, it was around almost the same figure, so, the matter will come up for further discussion”.
Minister for Trade and Industries, Mr Alan Kyerematen
Last month former President Mahama described plans by the Akufo-Addo government to sell the factory to a private investor as “unacceptable”.
“It is unacceptable to sell the factory; this is an investment the government made”, Mr Mahama said, adding: “We can get the expertise and technology to make this factory work”.
Mr Mahama argued: “Sugar is one of the products we import a lot – almost $200 million every year – so, if we produce part of that sugar here, then it reduces the foreign exchange we have to take outside to import sugar”.
“I will urge the government to follow the path that we took”, he said while addressing the people of Komenda during a tour of the Central Region at the weekend.
The factory, built at a cost of $35 million from an Indian Exim Bank facility, was revamped and inaugurated by the erstwhile Mahama administration in 2016 and closed down in June of the same year and has since remained dormant. It has a capacity to crush 1,250 tonnes of sugarcane per day.
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