Deputy Defence Minister and Member of Parliament for Nkoranza North constituency, Major Derrick Oduro (RTD) has disclosed that the government will soon revamp the Kumasi shoe factory.
According to him, the factory has good machines that are still fit for purpose and the government is working for funds to purchase raw materials to manufacture shoes for the security services.
“The problem, they had was when they made their first consignment of shoes for the security agencies there were problems because they were poorly made with bad raw materials so the military especially decided not to purchase their products and that has been the challenge of the Kumasi shoe factory,” he said in an interview on Okay FM’s ‘Ade Akye Abia’ program.
He said, however, the ministry will be meeting shortly to decide on how the government can invest money into the factory tto enable them to provide boots for the security agencies.
Officially known as the Defence Industries Holding Company Limited (DIHOC) Footwear Division Limited, the factory is jointly owned by the GAF and a Czech Republic-based company Knights a.s., acting through its subsidiary, Knight Ghana Limited.
When the Daily Graphic visited the factory in Kumasi last Friday, work had slowed down because boots and shoes which had earlier been produced for the security agencies were still yet to be purchased.
The workforce of 200 in 2012, when the company was resuscitated, had been slashed to 41 because there is little work to be done. Few orders were being received from private individuals and entities.
Currently, the factory is producing about eight percent of its installed capacity of 700,000 pairs of security boots per annum. The development has been compounded by the continuous piling up of electricity bills, VAT and import duties on raw materials.
The Kumasi Shoe Factory was formerly called the Ghana Industrial Holding (GIHOC). Originally established in 1960, the factory, located on 35.75 acres, produced footwear and rubber sheets under an agreement signed by Ghana’s first President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, and Czechoslovakia in 1961.
It, however, collapsed in the late 1970s. In 2012, it was revived following a joint partnership between a Czech Republic-based company, Knights a.s., acting through its subsidiary, Knight Ghana Limited, and the Defence Industries Holding Company Limited (DIHOC), owned by the GAF.
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