Citizen Watch Ghana (CWG), a pressure group, has described the Secretariat of the One District, One Factory (1D1F) programme under the Ministry of Trade and Industries (MOTI) as “toothless and powerless.”

"The 1D1F secretariat at this moment is rendered toothless because, first and foremost, their performance is not a Key Performance Index (KPI) for any sector or ministry," said the group in a statement.

According to the group, Ghanaian entrepreneurs from the Private Enterprise Federation (PEF), the Association of Ghanaian Industries (AGI), Alliance for Development and Industrialisation (ADI) among others, are unanimous in their view that the 1D1F Secretariat only makes recommendations to institutions and banks but has no power or mandate to support or follow any business through.

"So far, even for taxes and trade exemptions benefited by businesses through the Ministry of trade are minimal, the majority of these trade exemptions come from the Ministry of Agriculture and agro-based industries.

"We are proposing that let's make this a KPI for both government and the various sector institutions for which an authority should be set up with its mandate clearly spelt out," the group said the statement.

The Ghana Industrial Transformation Authority (GITA), the group proposes, should establish KPIs for sectors such as agriculture, trade and industry, labour among others, to serve as a check and monitor if it is delivering on its mandate or not; for example, the number of jobs the 1D1F has created.

“We are appealing to the government to take into consideration this proposal to set up an authority as we prepare for Ghana beyond Covid-19 agenda since self-sustainace is critical.

"The private sector should understand that the government would not just make available monies for this to happen, they need the right criteria of businessmen, even if they have to be ten to build businesses across the country, it makes sense than wasting money on other people,” it said.

In a statement issued in Accra and signed by Francis Agbenyegah, the Convener of the group, Citizen Watch said it would be prudent for the government to change the 1D1F Secretariat into Ghana Industrialisation and Transformation Authority, backed by law to champion the industrialisation drive of the country.

The 1D1F Secretariat, the group said, currently does not have any authority to facilitate activities, describing it as a “reference” which has failed to have any law backing its operations.

It’s just like a “White Elephant” secretariat,” it said.

“The government must refocus, realign and migrate the 1D1F into Ghana Industrialisation and Transformation Authority to help the government to put checks and balances in place to monitor and evaluate the work of the authority through its key performance index," the group said.

“Like how MASLOC is under the Presidency, we are also proposing that the government should put the GITA under the Presidency to champion the industrialisation process of this country,” it said.

“GITA should be under the Presidency with strength from the Ministries of Agriculture, Finance, and Trade and must have desk officers to deal with these companies in a timely manner. If we don’t do this, then the government has no focus in dealing with industrialiSation issues in this country,” the group added.

 “We called on Parliament to develop a policy towards the Ghana Industrialisation Transformation Authority. If we have such an authority, which has pillars from the agric and trade ministries, and other sectors, it would drive the private sector as the Ministry of Trade is overwhelmed with so many issues and doesn’t have the time to concentrate on the support of industries,” the group said.

“We respectfully call on the President to consider our proposition for the larger interest of businesses in the country,” it appealed.

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