Govt to facilitate land acquisition by investors

The government is to facilitate the acquisition of land by investors as a major incentive package to enable them set up manufacturing plants or engage in large businesses in the country.

The move is also intended to reduce the incidence on multiple sale of land to unsuspecting investors by landowners, a development which normally drives investors away from the country.

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, made the pledge when a high-powered delegation from key Japanese institutions paid a courtesy call on him in Accra.

Among the delegation are top executive officials of Mitsubishi Motors, Toshiba, Mitsui, Sumitomo and NEC; and they are in the country to explore business opportunities that will allow them to use Ghana as their station to access the rest of Africa.

The 35-member delegation which has already met with officials of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) is in the country as a follow up to the recent visit of President John Mahama to Japan.

“Land acquisition should not be a hindrance to investing in Ghana because the government will lead the way to ensure that land acquired is devoid of any controversies to enable investors set  themselves up in peace”, he said.

In the area of agro-processing, the Trade and Industry Minister said the government had additional incentive packages which included up to two years tax break for investors who ventured into that area.

“Once a very comprehensive proposal is submitted to indicate the volumes to be processed, the employment to be generated and the quantum to be exported among other things, we will be willing to give the tax breaks of up to two years because we are very interested in adding value to our products before export”, he said.

Mr Iddrisu also mentioned the area of energy of which the government intended to raise generation capacity to 5,000 megawatts from the present levels of about 2,000.

He said there also existed the opportunity in the road infrastructure sector where the deficit is about $2 billion and noted that “the government is prepared to ensure that investors who venture into that sector consider Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) option.

Mr Iddrisu said the President had also directed the establishment of industrial parks in the country of which work had started on those in Tamale and Kumasi.

He said the government was interested in getting investors to help take up the Sekondi industrial park project and expressed the hope that the Japanese would consider that.

Mr Iddrisu said the macro-economic situation in the country was relatively stable and indicated that the government was working hard to ensure that budget deficit was reduced.

He said while allowing Japanese investors into the country, Ghana would also work to explore the Japanese market and asked the room be given to Ghanaian exports that met the minimum Japanese standards to ensure some level of trade balance.

The leader of the delegation, Mr Haruki Hayashi, expressed gratitude to the government for the information the delegation had received concerning the various opportunities in the country.

Mr Hayashi who is also the Managing Director of Mitsubishi Corporation pledged the commitment of the members of the delegation to invest in the country because of the favourable environment and the positive prospects for high return on their investments.

Story; Charles Benoni Okine / Daily Graphic / Ghana