The Deputy Defence Minister Retired Major Derek Oduro has attributed inferior raw materials to the collapse of the Kumasi Shoe Factory in the Ashanti Region.
According to him, customers such as the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), schools and other security forces have refused to purchase boots from the factory due to its substandard production.
He wondered why management of the factory have refused to revive the once vibrant company which sits on about 40 acres of land.
He charged them to change the sources they procure their raw materials by restructuring their system in order to attract buyers from citizens and neigbouring countries.
Rtd Major Oduro admonished the management to look for money to fund its operations calling on them to stop waiting on government’s support.
‘For so many months, if not years there hasn’t been any production. Why because the first consignment that was sent to GAF, they didn’t like the products. The boots didn’t last, they used it for sometime but they didn’t stand the test of time. The shoes given to GAF were not of good quality, they didn’t like the shoes, since then I don’t think they have done any meaningful production.
‘If you produce goods which are not of good quality, I won’t buy again. Maybe they bought wrong raw materials for the production of the boots, they should look for other sources/places for raw materials for their production. Get quality raw materials to produce quality shoes. If you buy inferior raw materials and produce substandard boots nobody will come to you for orders again,’ he said.
Speaking on Ultimate Breakfast Show hosted by Lantam Papanko, he said the few staff of the factory pretended to be working when they realised that he and his delegation were visiting.
Rtd Major Oduro said the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the factory failed to meet them as agreed.
‘I was shocked when I saw that the whole place was bushy, it was more or less a forest, nothing showed that there was an activity going on. It was when they heard of our visit that they started using the machine as if they were producing. A company that employs approximately 200 people, now you see 49 people doing nothing. They are not producing. That is what we witnessed when we visited the Kumasi Shoe factory,’ he stated.
The Chairman of Defence Industry Board advised management of the factory to hold talks with the prison service, fire service, private security companies etc to patronise their products by assuring them of value for money.
He further urged them to up their game assuring that GAF is willing to do business with them in future.
‘We wouldn’t be happy to allow the factory collapse, we will leave no stone unturned to revive it,’ he indicated.