The programme by the Akufo-Addo government to provide each district in the country with at least a factory has received a major boost, with the Universal Merchant Bank announcing a $100 million support package for the project. The Board Chairperson, Betty Zormelo, disclosed this when management of the bank paid a courtesy call on President Nana Akufo Addo at the Presidency yesterday.
Chief Executive Officer of the bank, John Awuah, pointed out that the bank had already set up a department that would ensure that individuals and organizations that have interest in establishing a factory in any of the district in the country is ably assisted.
He said the bank, having been in existence for 45 years, had supported the setting up of many enterprises in the country.
“It is one thing we have done before and we believe we have the capacity to assist going forward and with that background, we fully embraced the grandiose, innovative and aspirational vision of one district, one factory, which we share very deeply in because we believe that each district in the country has some distinctive competency around the setup of the district that can be harnessed into an industrial hub and that is where we believe with the government in place, we need a financial muscle in between to partner the project and get it going,” he said.
Mr Awuah disclosed that the bank’s idea was to align 100 per cent with the government’s vision, adding that the money would be used as a seed to assist the various companies, enterprises and entrepreneurs that would approach any of the ministries responsible for the policy, provided they qualify.
He said the bank held the view that they must assist the government and the administration to be successful and by so doing, creating jobs for the youth, as well as industrializing the country.
“It is not something we are planning to do; we have already set up the centre. We are going through the mechanism and other mechanical frameworks, documentations and how applications that come to us would be risk accessed and how we will partner the requisite ministry to deliver,” Mr Awuah stated.
President Nana Akufo-Addo described the announcement as one of his birthday gifts coming from a bank, stressing that it was a welcome news to him and his government.
“We believe that the foundation for a developed and prosperous Ghana that all of us want is to be able to build our country from the bottom upwards,” the president said, expressing the hope that the implementation of the One District, One Factory policy would go a long way to help in that regard.
He tasked the Trade and Industry Ministry to engender stong partnership with the bank to ensure that it products are harnessed by interested businesses who want to buy into the ‘one district, one factory’ vision of the government.