Solomon Kotei (second right) speaking at the function. With him are regional executives of ICU
The Industrial and Commercial Workers Union of Ghana (ICU) has appealed to government to consider revamping all existing state-owned companies that are not performing before commencing its policy of establishing one factory in each district across the country.
General Secretary of ICU, Solomon Kotei, made the call in an interaction with the media on the sidelines of the ICU Accra Regional Council Conference held on Friday in Accra.
The conference paved the way for new executives of ICU’s Greater Accra branch, namely Ephrain Agidi, Chairman, Diana Bosuh, Vice Chairman, Thomas Atiah, Secretary, Samuel Dzikunu, Trustee, Paul Kofi, Executive Member, Belinda Cochrane, Women’s president, and Anita Nyarko, Youth President, to be elected and sworn into office to steer the affairs of the union in the region over the next four years.
Mr. Kotei disclosed that the ICU was in the process of holding talks with government over some pertinent issues concerning the general performance of the country’s economy, adding that the growth of Ghana’s economy depends on industrialization and investments must be made to establish the new factories.
He indicated that without first focusing on how best to inject the necessary support required by existing factories to contribute their best, government might not make any meaningful gains with its one-district-one-factory policy.
Mr. Kotei explained that there are numerous existing factories across the country, which must be revamped to enable them contribute significantly to the economic growth of the country.
He quizzed: “In fact, one of the things we are going to take to government is the fact that if they have dream to bring one-district one-factory and the existing factories are not finding their feet, then we are saying how feasible will that be?”
“Because if the one that is crawling has not been able to walk, you don’t go ahead and create new babies that will need additional support to survive,” he added.
In continuing, he indicated that “for the current ones from Independence to date that are just struggling to survive, good playing field should be granted to them.”
He complained about the crowding out of local cement companies by their foreign counterparts due to what the local producers termed unfair trade practices.
“Then again, we are very mindful about the cement factories that are falling into the country, and we will also be talking to the new government on that, especially with the Minister of Trade and Industry,” he disclosed.
Mr. Kotei explained that “we are not saying competition should not be brought on board; we are not saying new companies should not come but as they come on are they coming to cripple the existing ones, as we all seeing in the banking sector where we used to have the traditional banks. Now we have over 36 banks in this country, making competition very severe and workers in the banks now are stressed left, right, center with targets that are not just achievable, because the market is small and everybody is grappling to get what they want to survive with.”
“A lot of existing companies, especially the local textile firms, have operated under “bizarre” competition due to the influx of foreign enterprises on the domestic market.
By Melvin Tarlue