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ATL Will Not Collapse – Alan   
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The Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen has assured the workers of Akosombo Textiles Limited (ATL) that he, in his capacity as the Trade Minister under the Akufo-Addo NPP administration, will never sit down and watch ATL collapse.

The Trade and Industry Minister made these known, when President Akufo-Addo paid a brief visit to the Akosombo Textiles Limited in the Asuogyaman District of the Eastern Region on day 1 of his 3-day tour of the Eastern Region.

Mr. Kyerematen said it is sad how distortion of facts by certain media houses had totally obscured the truth of the real situation at ATL; a misinformation that ATL was at the verge of collapsing, if not collapsed, adding that, ATL has been revived at the behest of the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

“By the time we took over, the management of ATL had already decided that enough was enough, and that it was time for them, with all the investments that they had made, to say goodbye,” he said.

The Trade Minister continued, “It took the courage of the President to decide that ATL must continue. He marshaled all the arguments that he could, even amongst us his colleagues, to defend the point that it was important to save this company.

“And, that is why you would recall that Government had to intervene to save this company, and in addition to that, has been able to attract private sector investments to ensure that this particular company goes to the point where it started from.”

The Minister was quick to add that the problems identified were due to the irresponsibility of the former NDC administration and that the current President had intervened to introduce some key measures to address the issues.

These policies, according to him, include the introduction of tax stamps, and the designation of a single import corridor, “so you cannot bring textiles into this country except through that designated corridor, which is through Tema.”

He bemoaned a situation in 2016 where, even though 30 million yards of textile print were imported into the country, only one container was declared through the Tema Harbour.

“It means that the rest were being smuggled in through the Eastern Corridor, so we can no longer tolerate this and that is why we are putting in a dedicated entry point. If you are a genuine importer and you want to import textile print, why do you want to import it through Lomé, when it is coming to Ghana and we have a port in Tema? It will come through Tema and we have a port to check those that are pirated and those that are not pirated,” he added.

He assured the management and workers of ATL that if all the policies were duly followed, the fame of the company will be restored in good time.

Alan Kyerematen recounted the state of ATL in 2008 after the New Patriotic Party government had left office where the company was literally brought to its knees and was producing at less than 30% capacity meanwhile when operating at full capacity it could employ 3,500 workers.

Mr Kyerematen announced that Government is providing stimulus packages and other support to textile companies, and will also put in place a textile management import system “so that those who are importing and are not declaring what they are importing will have this control management system where imports of textile prints will be managed centrally. Then we can check these pirated goods.”

He disclosed that President Akufo-Addo “has directed that we must take steps to encourage those factories outside, particularly in China to relocate to Ghana. I am pleased to report that by the 1st week of December, the partners working together with Ghana have invited some of these manufacturers to come so that we can start discussing the way forward.”

He was convinced that with all these policy measures in place and with the President’s commitment and support, all the challenges of the textile industry will be a thing of the past.
Source: Daily Guide

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