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08 June 2016

Komenda Contradictions: Factory up and running but…

Komenda ContradictionsThe Komenda Sugar Factory is up and running Joy News has confirmed but the raw materials, time-table for the company’s production and maintenance schedule is far from resolved.

An engineer at the site, Michael Davies told Joy News’ Central Region correspondent Richard Kojo Nyarko, contrary to reports of shutdown the factory has been in operation ever since it was commissioned by the president last week.

Two days after the commission, there were reports the company had shutdown for maintenance. The Minority in Parliament berated government for shutting it down when it had not produced a tonne of sugar. They also raised issues about the ability of the company to access constant supply of sugarcane, which is raw material for the factory.

But the government’s reaction to the shutdown has been confusing and contradictory.

Asked if the company had shutdown two days after it was commissioned, the Central Region Minister Ricketts Hagan told host of Joy FM’s midday news Francis Abban, Friday: “The plant will be in the production phase from October or November to May or June when the maintenance cycle will begin until October again when the production starts.”

The factory was actually commissioned on May 30, confirming suspicion the factory may be in its maintenance phase but the Minister was quick to add that the factory was up and running and had not been shutdown.

Barely a day after his comments, the Deputy Agric Minister Dr Ahmed Yakubu Alhassan on Joy FM’s Newsfile program stated emphatically that the factory had shutdown and justified reasons for the shutdown.

On Tuesday, the Trade Ministry issued a statement signed by the Acting Director, Communications and Public Affairs, Nana Akrasi Sarpong denying that the factory had been shutdown.

The statement however noted that the factory will be shutdown at the end of June for maintenance.

With the comedy of contradictions, Richard Kojo Nyarko proceeded to the company to ascertain what the real situation at the factory is.

He said work was proceeding smoothly at the factory with a heap of sugar cane piled up in front of the factory.

Michael Davies, an Engineer at the factory told him the company had never been shut. He also denied assertions the company will face challenges with raw materials for production.

“…We have no problem with raw material. They are available. There are so many out-growers who have sugarcane. They are there in the bushes and we have assigned trucks to get them to the factory,” he stated.

“Until our main farm is completed we will rely on out-growers,” he intimated.

He however stated that the company will work for six months before shutting down, contrary to the Trade Ministry’s statement that the factory will be shut at the end of June.

He also denied assertions the workers will be asked to go home when the factory is shutdown for maintenance.

But the Minority is still unimpressed with the development at the Komenda factory.

NPP MP for Tema West Titus Glover, said government is only playing to the gallery, adding the factory cannot boast of sustained of sugarcane supply.

He berated the government for what he says is the poor planning that has attended activities at the company.

Whilst commending government for the factory, he said, the irrigated land allocated for the project should have been developed to provide sugarcane to the factory.

He did not understand why the factory will be commissioned when its major source of raw material had not be sorted out.

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