The Ghana Free Zones Board has noted a statement issued by IMANI concerning the Sekondi Industrial Estate (SIE).
IMANI continues to propagate their earlier stated position expressing doubt about the ability of the developers Hasan Investment Ghana Ltd (Hasan) to raise funds envisaged for the project.
The Ghana Free Zones Board wishes to make it clear that the $67million loan that is being contracted is a debt of the Government of Ghana that would be used to develop the basic infrastructure of the estate so as to attract the expected industrial tenancy after such infrastructure is completed.
The Government of Ghana, having learnt from the experience of the development of the Tema Export Processing Zone decided that it would raise funds for among other things, the creation of basic infrastructure of roads, drainage, electricity, water and perimeter fencing. That is the main purpose for which the loan has been contracted.
This investment would allow any prospective investor to acquire a serviced plot within the estate.
The concept of a Developer for the purposes of the free zones act is not the same as contractor.
Per the Free Zones Act 504 Section 16;
Grant of licenses to developers and enterprises
(i) The Board may grant a license authorizing; (a) The development or management or both of a free zone or (b) The carrying on of a trade, business or industry within the free zone.
Hasan has developed the design concept for the Sekondi Industrial Estate SIE), and has also been promoting the SIE to prospective tenants of the estate.
While Hasan may also be involved in the project development and implementation phase of any factory unit on behalf of a tenant, which will not be at the cost of the Government of Ghana, but will certainly enhance the value of the estate when completed.
We envisage that Hasan will raise funds to provide additional enhancements to the Estate, and in the unlikely event of their inability to do so the property in the estate and the infrastructure created by the Government of Ghana remains the property of the Government and people of Ghana.
We wish to state for the avoidance of doubt that no construction contract has been awarded to Hasan, and that we will go through the procurement process to award construction contracts for the the project.
We also are sure that Hasan will respond to the issues raised about their operations in the manner they consider most appropriate).
The board in conjunction with the Ghana embassy in Beijing has conducted due diligence on Hasan and we have confidence that they will live up to expectation.
We wish the good people of Ghana to take note that the basic investments being undertaken by the CDB loan would create an industrial area with the basic facilities to attract businesses to locate within the area and would meet the legal requirements of a free zones estate.
For added emphasis we wish to restate that the CDB facility would pay for initial infrastructural development.
To make this happen there would be the need to prepare detailed engineering designs, environmental impact assessment determination, arterial roads, earthworks, sewerage, utilities, as well as other ancillary services needed to bring the first phase of the development of the Industrial park to actuality.
Hasan as the developer has assured the GFZB that it is committed to bringing onto the estate anchor tenants they have had previous association with on other projects.
We hope this clears any doubts in the minds of the general public regarding the viability of the Sekondi Industrial Estate.
Kojo Twum Boafo
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