Komenda Sugar Factory Shutdown Necessary - Minister

Central Regional Minister, Kweku Rickett Hagan has justified the closure of the Komenda Sugar Factory for six months days after its commissioning.

According to him, just like any industrial plant, it needs periodic maintenance to enable it operate in full capacity.

“The plant has a maintenance cycle where a lot of things like cleaning up will be done. This is one of the things which we’ve not been good at in this country and it is not surprising that we have run down all the factories that were built during Nkrumah days,” he stated on Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen programme Thursday.

The Minority in Parliament has cast doubt on the viability of the revived Komenda Sugar Factory to operate to its maximum capacity.

The factory established by Ghana's first President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah was on Monday May 30, 2016 re-commissioned by President Mahama after undergoing refurbishment.

It is expected to generate thousands of jobs and help cut down on the importation of sugar into the country. But its closure just two days after commissioning has generated public uproar with many describing it as a propaganda stunt.

Minority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, at a news conference in Parliament Thursday described the development as a lack of planning and research on the part of government before the re-commissioning.

“Closing it down will still require the input of energy, electricity you are not producing and you pay the workers you are not going to lay them off. So when it comes on stream again and you have to produce, the overhead cost will build up even when you are not producing. It doesn’t make sense to do this, who are we deceiving?” he quizzed.

However, Mr. Rickett Hagan said the concerns by sceptics especially from opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) are borne out of malice.

He indicated that, the Minority Leader is uninformed about the situation adding that Mr. Kyei Mensah Bonsu is speculating “irresponsibly about things he has not seen”.

“This is a manual prescription by the manufacturer and they intend to follow through religiously and not do things the same way that we have done it in the past to run down things that we have invested a lot of tax payer’s money into” the Regional Minister said.

Mr. Rickett Hagan noted that in order for the plant to operate properly, there are certain steps that must be followed and the closure for maintenance is just one.

“The plant will be in the production phase from October – November to May-June then the maintenance cycle will be between May-June until October again when the production starts” he stressed.