Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Akoto Afriyie, has denied claims that he stopped the establishment of a fertilizer factory in Sunyani West by entrepreneur, Bernard Oduro Takyi (B.O.T).
Oduro Takyi, a New Patriotic Party (NPP) youth activist at the time, says he approached the sector minister to reach an agreement that the government would purchase fertilizers from the company he and his investors wanted to set up in Odumase, the capital of Sunyani West Municipality.
Speaking to Prince Kwame Minkah on Tonton Sansan on TV XYZ Thursday morning, the B.O.T explained that after he received an award from the United States Government in 2016, he was asked to draft a solution to some of the challenges of his community in Ghana and seek for funds to tackle those challenges.
He told Minkah that he wanted to set up a fertilizer manufacturing company and did feasibility studies with his investors and got approval from the Trades Ministry to set up the factory under the government’s One District, One Factory initiative in 2017.
However, the icing on the cake– an approval from the Agric Minister to sign a purchasing agreement– was dashed when they met.
“The Minister for Agriculture told me that the government was about to begin the construction of a fertilizer factory so he can’t help me, ” B.O.T said while sharing his side if the story.
Reacting to the video of B.O.T which had gone viral and triggering discussions, the Ministry for Agriculture observed that the narrative on TV XYZ is not factual.
“My attention has been drawn to a video by a former NPP activist on social media who says I prevented him from establishing a fertilizer manufacturing company in Ghana. Unfortunately, he is exhibiting his total ignorance of the industry,” a statement from the Minister’s Press Secretary, Issah Alhassan stated.
“First of all,he must be referring to a fertilizer blending factory NOT a fertilizer manufacturing plant,” the statement said. “The latter requires the supply of natural gas as the basic input and requires minimum 1.5 billions of US Dollars of investment.”
The sector minister said his outfit has been talking to potential investors abroad since 2018 to establish a fertilizer manufacturing plant at Jomoro in Western Region “using our new-found gas discoveries by Tullow, etc”
The statement indicated that “there is no natural gas in Brong Region to manufacture fertilizers,” adding that the grant of $100, 000 Oduro Takyi claims was offered him by the US Government “cannot even build a fertilizer blending factory as he claims.”
” It costs million dollars to put up such a factory,” the statement said.
He continued, “Currently, Ghana has six fertilizer blending factories and none of them needed a permit from me to set up.”
“The comments made by this so-called NPP activist and entrepreneur are not only full of mischief but pure propaganda of the NDC design! They must therefore be treated with the utter contempt they certainly deserve,” the Ministry concluded.
Meanwhile, B.O.T says he still stands by his words and would, in the coming days, throw more light on the matter.