The Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kwadwo Kyeremanten has hinted that the Akufo-Addo led government has taken concrete actions to restore Akosombo Textiles Limited to its glorious days as a veritable source of formal employment and income generation for the people in the Asuogyaman and surrounding communities.
By that assurance, Mr. Kyeremanten said, “I am pleased to inform the House that Akosombo Textiles Limited is currently not in a situation that could be described as facing the risk of total collapse”.
Mr. Kyeremanteng made this known in his answer to Parliament in respond to a question “whether the ministry has any plans for saving Akosombo Textiles Limited (ATL) from total collapse’ asked by Member of Parliament, (MP) for Asougyaman, Thomas Nyarko Ampem.
According to him the company is aggressively pursuing an international sales drive and has established relations with trading companies in Nigeria, Benin, Brussels, USA and the United Kingdom, in order to step up export sales.
“It is envisaged that this will contribute significantly towards the promotion of Made-in-Ghana textiles and clothing”, he hopes.
In addition to the above, the company is benefitting from the following specific incentives recently introduced by the Government of Ghana to grant relief to companies:
Three-year exemption on VAT (zero-rated);
Import Duty Waiver and concessions on raw materials imports and the importation of machinery and equipment; and Deferred VAT payment on imports to improve the cash flow situation of local textile manufacturing companies.
He metioned the following policy measures as approved by Cabinet are also being introduced specifically to support the local textiles companies:
Introduction of Tax Stamps for locally manufactured and imported textiles to address the problem of pirated and smuggled imported textiles products; designation of T ema Port as the Single-Bntry Corridor for imported textiles products; and, the implementation of a Textile Import Management System to improve inter-agency coordination of the textiles trade, including the vetting of designs and logos; and the execution of a special market surveillance Operation (supervised by the Textile Task Force) to monitor importers and assess the levels of compliance with the new policy measures.
Akosombo Textiles Limited (ATL) was established in 1967 as part of the Cha Textiles Group of Companies.
From an initial workforce of around 500, ATL employed 1,650 people at the peak of the company’s operations in the 1980’s.
It currently employs 780 people. The company has Spinning, Weaving, Dyeing, Printing and Finishing capacity, all on one site.
It is the single largest vertically integrated textile factory in Ghana that uses cotton from the northern part of Ghana to produce the yarn, grey baft fabric and mercerized calico which is processed, dyed, printed and finished into prints for the local and export markets.
ATL currently produces four main brands of fabric, namely ATL, ABC, Treasure and Inspiration.
But in sharp rebuttal, the minority spokesperson on finance, Cassel Ato Forson disagreed with many of the figures and facts put out by saying, “we’ve not said anywhere that President Nana Addo has borrowed 8 billion Cedis. What we said was that Nana Addo Government has added to the public debt 80 billing Ghana Cedis.
In fact the amount of money he has borrowed is 126 billion Cedis”.
So to say he has borrowed 8 billion is under statement, he stressed.
Story by Edzorna Francis Mensah