Former secretary to the Management Board of the Komenda Sugar Factory, Ransford Chatman Vanni-Amoah has debunked the claims of the Deputy Trade Minister, Robert Ahomka-Lindsay that the sugar factory has not produced sugar from fresh sugarcane since it opened.
In a Press release, Mr Vanni-Amoah who is also a Former Director of Communications and Strategy for the factory said, “the Deputy Minister's statements were total falsehood and he intends to mislead the public”.
The Deputy Minister when he appeared before the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament earlier this week stated that upon the inauguration of the factory, government bought semi processed sugar which the now shut down factory refined for people to taste.
But Mr Vanni-Amoah is challenging him to provide evidence for his claims.
He said, “Robert Ahomka-Lindsay to tell Ghanaians where the so-called semi-processed sugar was purchased. There should be documents to show to the public if his clams are true”.
Find the full press release below:
RE:KOMENDA SUGAR FACTORY HAS PRODUCED NO SUGAR FROM SUGARCANE – AHOMKA-LINDSAY
It has come to my notice that on Friday, 11th August, 2017, the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr. Robert Ahomka-Lindsay made a statement when he appeared before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of parliament that, the Komenda Sugar Factory has not produced any sugar from fresh sugarcane since its inception.
He disclosed that contrary to claims by the previous John Dramani Mahama-led administration that the factory produced some bags of sugar; the said sugar which was exhibited to Ghanaians was derived from semi-finished products which the government purchased for showcase.
“The sugar you tasted at that time; the government of Ghana bought semi-processed sugar, part of it was used to process and that is part of what you tasted.
We have never put sugarcane through the full system of the Komenda Sugar Factory,” Mr Ahomka-Lindsay said when he appeared before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament on Friday, August 11,2017.
However, Mr Ahomka-Lindsay explained the NPP government is currently working hard to get the factory operational because the variety of sugarcane which was procured for the nursery does not contain adequate amounts of sugar for commercial production.
I, Ransford Chatman Vanni-Amoah, the Former Member/ Secretary to the Management Board of the Komenda Sugar Factory and the Former Director of Communications and Strategy would like to put on record that, the Deputy Minister's statements were total falsehood and he intends to mislead the public.
These false statements require immediate correction by my good self, since I was strategically placed to play some significant roles from the construction stage to the operational stage of factory.
The former president H. E John Dramani Mahama as part of his working visit in the Central Region on Wednesday, May 4, 2016 inspected the new sugar factory which was about 90% complete.
After going through the whole facility, the President of the Seftech India Private Limited, Mr. Nitin Wagh indicated to Ex-President Mahama that, the new sugar processing plant was ready for test run and as part of their arrangements, they requested that the president of Ghana should commission the plant on Monday, 30th May 2016.
On the said date, the then president commissioned the plant and the media houses who were present witnessed the various stages of the production.
The factory went through series of test run between May 30th and June 30th, 2016. The test run was to enable the machines to be tested and also enable some of the operational staff have a better understanding about the operations of the sugar processing plant.
During this period most media houses visited the facility to witness what was happening. I made myself available for media interactions throughout the period and I believe any journalist who visited the factory and witnessed the production became flabbergasted when they heard those false statements from this deputy minister whose unbridled arrogance bring shame to the office he occupies.
Nana Yaw Fianko, the host of Amansan Tv's “Asem yi di ka" and his crew visited the factory and they were impressed about what they saw. At least, they witnessed the crushing of the sugarcane and the boiling of the juice.
On Tuesday, 14th June, 2016, the host of Adom FM’s ‘Dwaso Nsem’ Captain Smart and his production team had a live coverage at the factory for listeners to have a feel of the U.S$36.5m Sugar Processing Plant. Captain Smart was first person to taste the sugar in its syrup and crystallised states. Videos and, pictures are available to back this.
B41227 is a variety of the sugarcane available in the company's catchment area and it is suitable for the production of sugar. Its Degree Brix is 20%, Pol Percentage of sucrose is 12%, Purity is 80% and its Fibre is of high quality. It is very resistant to pests.
The other two Indian varieties are CO-02014 and CO-86032. These two varieties have parameters almost like the B41227. These are all available at the factory’s 125-acre farm.
So, the Deputy Minister's claim that the factory lacks the required varieties is misleading.
He needs to humble himself and learn about the sugar production. Because having worked previously in a Coca-Cola company does not make him a sugar expert.
Farmers whose canes were purchased are living witnesses. On the day of commissioning, the farmers agitated for increment in the price per tonnage and some media houses carried that news. If we did not process sugarcane, why did we purchase the canes in the first place? Were the over 5,000 tons of sugarcane given to the workers at the factory to chew? We increased the price from the initial Gh¢60.00 to Gh¢90.00 per ton after the agitation.
These farmers are living in the Central and Western Regions of Ghana.
The Seftech India Private Limited engaged the services of Perrilines Limited whose C.E.O is Mr. Perry Mensah of Cape Coast. Mr. Perry Mensah's company was one of the main contractors who transported the sugarcanes from the farm gates to the cane yard at the factory during that period.
Perrilines Limited and other three (3) companies were engaged to deliver the transport services. I am mentioning the name of Mr. Perry Mensah because he is a leading members of the ruling party although he did not get the contract based on his party affiliation but because he is serious-minded businessman who does not play with his job.
The same company owned by Perry Mensah was awarded a contract to harvest the sugarcanes. One Thousand (1000) harvesters were needed daily and he was able to deliver excellently.
During this period, we lost a native of Putubiw in the Abura/ Asebu/ Kwamankese District who was part of the harvesters. An accident which occurred at Apewosika near Putubiw claimed a life of a woman many sustained injuries when they were returning from farm to their village.
Due to the excellent contract delivery by Perrilines Limited, the Seftech Management recommended to the Management of the Komenda Sugar Development Company Limited and a Five (5) year contract was signed between the factory and Perrilines Limited.
The factory produced over 150 tons of molasses which is a by-product of sugar.
Molasses can only be produced when you crush sugarcane. So, if this disgraceful Deputy Minister clams that we purchased semi-processed sugar and exhibited to Ghanaians, I want to ask him if the molasses were also purchased for exhibition?
I wonder how a person of his calibre spews out garbage in the august house of our nation.
Between Monday, 31st October and Friday, 4th November 2016, the molasses contained in the storage tanks were sold to the local distillers. Distillers from Egyaa, Putubiw, Apewosika, Kissi and its environs patronised the molasses produced by the factory.
I want Mr. Robert Ahomka-Lindsey to tell Ghanaians where the so-called semi-processed sugar was purchased. There should be documents to show to the public if his clams are true.
Instead of him to humble himself and learn, he is whining and insulting the intelligence of Ghanaians. Mr. Ahomka-Lindsey must stop displaying his ignorance in public. He is lucky Mr. Perry Mensah is alive and can give him (Ahomka-Lindsay) necessary information and tuition about the factory since he (Perry) has broad knowledge on it.
I am ready to debate him on any platform anytime he spews out lies about the sugar factory.
RANSFORD CHATMAN VANNI-AMOAH
(Former Director of Communications & Strategy)
(Former Member/ Secretary to the Management Board)
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