100 Town Hall: Gov’t to support distressed companies with GH220 million

The Vice President has disclosed that government is coming out with a stimulus package of GH220 million to support distress but viable companies across the country.

Dr Mahamudu Bawumia disclosed at Joy FM’s Town Hall to mark the Akufo-Addo-led administration’s 100 days in office that in that regard, government has intervened in propping up a steel factory that was in distress.

He said the company was on the verge of collapse because of tariff issues.

“They closed down in October 2016 over disputed tariffs and we came and brought the parties together. Within few weeks we had resolved the issue and they reopened. We saved 400 jobs in that company as a result,” he said.

In March last year, an Accra-based Italian eatery, Bread and Wine, which employs over 60 Ghanaians was on the verge of shutting down after an audit report by the Ministry of Power realised that they consumed power to the tune of about GH60,000 for two months.

The Ministry had directed a systems audit of the metering system of the restaurant following complaints of over-billing.

Also in 2016, the General Secretary of the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU), Solomon Kotei announced that more than 20 companies in the Tema Metropolis were going to close down by October due to the country’s economic decline.

Addressing members of the ICU, who were embarking on a demonstration to register their displeasure with government about the deteriorating economic conditions, Mr Kotei called on government to consider a downward review of corporate taxes to aid the growth and development of businesses.

He also asked government and the Economic Management Team to take effective and practicable measures to stabilise the “tottering economy and save it from total collapse and as a result save workers, the masses and mother Ghana from further suffering”.

However, giving hope to such companies, the Vice President said government in its 1-district 1- factory initiative will throw a lifeline to some of those reeling in similar conditions.

Government allocated some GH456 million to the 1-district 1-factory initiative in Akufo-Addo’s maiden budget for one of its headlining promise in the 2016 campaign.

“We saw also that there as a persistent decline in the number of airlines operating because we saw Airlines like Alitalia, Lufthansa, CitiLink, 540, United Airlines, Virgin Atlantic and Air Namibia leaving Ghana.

“We are trying to make sure that we are the destination of choice in the West African sub-region and I think that Air France has recommenced its operations in Ghana and I hope this is the start for more coming in as we open up our aviation sector,” Dr Bawumia said.