It has emerged that Ghana spends an average of $70 million annually in the importation of toilet rolls into the country a move that has been bemoaned by the Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia.
Ghana imports these products from countries like Vietnam, Honduras, Panama, Bahamas and Marshall Islands when local companies are producing same.
In view of this, he has directed all government institutions to procure all their toilet paper from local manufacturers in the next procurement cycle.
Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, gave the directive when he toured the Brompton Portfolio’s toilet paper manufacturing factory located at the Nsawam Prisons in the Eastern Region on Thursday, 26th September 2019.
This directive comes a day after Vice President Bawumia directed the Ghana Cocoa Board and the Ministry of Agriculture to purchase all their fertilizer from local producers next year.
According to Dr. Bawumia, the decision to insist on local procurement is as a result of the success of the One District One Factory initiative, which has led to the setting up of several factories in different sectors which have boosted local capacity and can meet local demand.
Five more toilet paper production factories have also been set up under the 1D1F initiative to augment those produced by the nine existing factories. The 14 factories can meet local demand, according to officials of the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
Accompanied by officials of the Ghana Prisons Service, Deputy Minister of the Interior Hon Henry Quartey, Deputy Minister for Trade Robert Ahomka Lindsey, Eastern Regional Minister Hon Kwakye Darfuor, and MP for the area, Hon Frank Annoh Dompreh, vice President Bawumia toured the facilities of Brompton Portfolio, which employs the labour of the prisoners in a profit-sharing arrangement under the One District One Factory Initiative.
Addressing the media, Vice President Bawumia indicated that the One District One Factory (1D1F) initiative was launched as one of the pillars for President Nana Akufo-Addo’s industrialisation agenda.
“We know that in this country we have a huge dependence on imports and so the import bill tends to be very high and we rather export a lot of our primary commodities. The vision of the President is for us to move away from the export of the primary commodities to the manufacturing of these commodities, and this is the background for the One District One Factory initiative.
And once we do that we are able to save on scarce foreign exchange, we are able to grow local industries and we’re able to create jobs. These really are three critical advantages of one District one factory.
When we came into office there were nine companies existing which engaged in toilet roll manufacturing. Since then, in the last two-and-a-half years we’ve added five additional factories. So the number of factories that produce toilet rolls has increased by about 50% which is very very significant.
“Given the success of One District One Factory, Government as we stated in our manifesto, is going to use the power of its procurement to support local industries.
We are also saying if you look at the 14 manufacturers of toilet roll that we now have, they have the capacity to meet most of our local demand for toilet roll in Ghana. So we are saying that from the next procurement cycle, all government institutions – whether it’s the military or the police or the hospitals or the schools, because the taxpayer funds all government institutions – if you’re going to buy toilet roll, all that toilet roll must be bought from local manufacturing companies. So we are using the taxpayer’s money to support our local industries. This will create jobs, will save foreign exchange, will grow the economy and this is the vision of One District One Factory.”
The Vice President continued, “This is the policy going forward. We are going to use our taxpayers’ money to support local manufacturing companies in the context of 1D1F. This is not a new policy, it is something that we had in our manifesto before we came into office but now we have built sufficient capacity in certain areas and therefore we can actualize that particular policy.