The Suame Magazine Industrial Development Organization (SMIDO) has secured a Gh₵10million financial facility towards transforming the Suame light industrial area into a top-flight industrial estate.
Dubbed ‘the Suame Magazine Industrial Development (SMID) Fund’, the private facility is from diverse corporate financial partners to develop a new site to accommodate the artisans.
Managed by the United Pension Trustees, it will also provide syndicated financial services for the development of Suame Magazine in Kumasi – an enclave renowned for production of light engineering parts as well as automobile repairs and maintenance.
The SMID Fund arrangement, according to Consultant to SMIDO, Nyaaba-Aweeba Azongo, is strictly reserved for artisans and workers within all fitting workshop clusters in Kumasi.
‘Every registered SMID Fund member is entitled to an industrial space and structure, special health insurance cover, pension and life assurance, savings and investment and access to loans for enterprise development and welfare purposes as a one-product financial arrangement for all artisans,’ he stated.
The ambitious comprehensive private health insurance plan – SMID Health Care – will provide an annual health insurance cover of Gh₵12,000 for all artisan members registered under the SMID Fund.
Mr. Azongo, who doubles as the Executive Secretary of the SMID Fund, has disclosed that arrangements on the first phase of the 500 acres out of the 1000 acre target land have been concluded for the commencement of the industrial complex project.
The artisan community is therefore encouraged to register under the SMID Fund to enable them access the industrial space at Kodie-Adubinsu-kese.
Mr. Azongo indicated that the project would be developed in phases for progressive resettlement of the artisans. The first phase of the resettlement scheme is expected to begin by the last quarter of 2015.
President of SMIDO, Sarpong Boateng, has called on the artisans to embrace the SMID Fund initiative ‘since that remains the only guarantee to a secured future for the artisans and their families and the security of their trade’.
Vice- President of the Ghana Chamber of Commerce, Nana Dr. Appiagyei Dankawoso I, has lauded the SMID Find initiative as the best financial model for the informal sector.
He called expects all stakeholders to ensure the success of the scheme since the development of Suame magazine, noting that the success of the model is key to the industrialization of the Country.
The Akyempimhene of Kumasi, Oheneba Aduse-Poku commended the leadership of SMIDO in resolving the land issue which had been a major challenge in advancing the project.
Story by Kofi Adu Domfeh
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