The Minister of Trade and Industry, K.T. Hammond, has lauded the gains made by the One District One Factory (1D1F) initiative in expediting the country’s industrialisation agenda, describing it as a model “worthy of emulation to decentralise industrial development.”
Citing the case of B5 Plus Limited, he said, the company had taken advantage of the initiative by investing in a new manufacturing line to catapult it to become one of the largest iron and steel companies in Africa and beyond.
The Minister, who was impressed with the state-of-the-art factory, made the remarks when he undertook a factory visit to the new line of the company’s plant at
Larpleku in the Kpone-Katamanso Municipality yesterday.
The visit was to enable the Minister familiarise himself with the operations of the factory and how it was supporting the local production of iron and steel, with a focus on value addition using local raw
materials, mass employment and export diversification, especially through the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Addressing the media after the tour of the facility, the Minister described the project as a classic example of the success of the President’s industrialisation agenda through the 1D1F initiative.
“I am overwhelmed by this huge structure. I have been taken through various processes, from the raw materials to the finished stage, and I must say that I am impressed profoundly with the work done so far.
I want to assure the company of government’s continuous support to address other challenges the company is facing, in terms of water supply and power generation to mitigate the negative impact on production and cost overruns,” he added.
Unhappy with the huge expenditure on iron and steel imports into the country, the Minister expressed the optimism that the project had come at an opportune time to help address the challenge.
Mr Mukesh V. Thakwani, Chief Executive Officer of the company, said the decision to invest in the project was to accelerate socio-economic development and increase job opportunities for the country’s teeming youthful population.
He said the B5 Plus Company was the largest iron and steel manufacturer and exporter in West Africa adding that the emergence of the AfCFTA would help address some of the challenges from trading across borders in Africa.
The steel manufacturing plant which was installed at a cost of US$100 million, he said, comprises a steel melting shop (SMS), a rolling mill with a production capacity of 250,000 MT per annum and a pre-fab manufacturing plant with a production capacity of 60,000 MT per annum.
Mr Thakwani noted that, the company would be producing 1.5 million MT of iron and steel products in different phases.
Currently, he said, the company was sourcing scrap metals as raw materials from the local market as well as ingots from foreign market Togo, Burkina Faso, Niger, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Senegal, and Mali.