The Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has directed all government institutions to procure only locally manufactured toilet papers.
He gave the directive when he toured the Brompton Portfolio’s toilet paper manufacturing factory located at the Nsawam Prisons in the Eastern Region on Friday, September 27.
Dr Bawumia’s directive comes a day after he directed the Ghana Cocoa Board and the Ministry of Agriculture to purchase all their fertiliser from local producers.
Dr Bawumia toured the Brompton Portfolio in the company of officials of the Ghana Prisons Service, Deputy Minister of the Interior, Mr Henry Quartey, Deputy Minister for Trade, Robert Ahomka Lindsay, Eastern Regional Minister Kwakye Darfuor, and Member of Parliament for the area, Frank Annoh Dompreh.
Brompton Portfolio employs the labour of prisoners in a profit-sharing arrangement under the One District One Factory (1D1F) initiative.
According to Dr Bawumia, the decision to insist on local procurement was as a result of the success of the 1D1F initiative, which had led to the setting up of several factories in different sectors.
Vice President Bawumia indicated that the 1D1F programme had boosted the capacity of local companies to meet local demand.
Five more toilet paper production factories have been set up under the 1D1F initiative in addition to nine existing toilet paper production factories.
The import bill for toilet rolls last year was $70 million, with imports from countries as far as Vietnam, Honduras, Panama, Bahamas, and Marshall Islands.
Vice President Bawumia indicated that the 1D1F initiative was launched as one of the pillars for President Nana Akufo-Addo’s industrialisation agenda.
“We know that, in this country, we have a huge dependence on imports, and so the import bill tends to be very high, and we rather export a lot of our primary commodities. The vision of the President is for us to move away from the export of the primary commodities to the manufacturing of these commodities, and this is the background for the 1D1F initiative.
“And once we do that we are able to save on scarce foreign exchange, we are able to grow local industries and we’re able to create jobs. These really are three critical advantages of 1D1F.
“When we came into office, there were nine companies existing which engaged in toilet roll manufacturing. Since then, in the last two-and-a-half years, we’ve added five additional factories. So, the number of factories that produce toilet rolls has increased by about 50 per cent, which is very significant,” he said.
Vice President Bawumia noted that given the success of 1D1F, government was going to use the power of its procurement to support local industries.
“We are also saying, if you look at the 14 manufacturers of toilet roll that we now have, they have the capacity to meet most of our local demand for toilet roll in Ghana.
“So we are saying, that from the next procurement cycle, all government institutions — whether it’s the military or the police or the hospitals or the schools, because the taxpayer funds all government institutions – if you’re going to buy toilet roll, it must be bought from local manufacturing companies.
“So we are using the taxpayer’s money to support our local industries. This will create jobs, will save foreign exchange, will grow the economy and this is the vision of One District One Factory,” he said.