The North Tongu Constituency Deputy Communications Officer hopeful on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in in the Volta Region, Mr Wisdom Wilson Adzedakor, has lauded the Member of Parliament (MP) for the area, Honourable Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa for his efforts to engage the British High Commissioner to Ghana, Her Excellency Harriet Thompson to revamp and expand the Volta Star Textiles Limited, formerly known as Juapong Textiles Limited (JTL).
The Volta Star Textiles Limited based in Juapong in the North Tongu District of the Volta region is said to be on the verge of collapse for so many years now.
As a way of revamping the Textiles factory, the Member of Parliament for the area, Mr Ablakwa is liaising with the British High Commissioner to Ghana, H.E Harriet Thompson to help restore operations at the factory and its possible expansion.
According to Mr. Adzedakor who doubles as the former President of the Tertiary Education Institution Network (TEIN) of the National Democratic Congress in the University College of Management Studies, the move by the MP clearly demonstrates that he (Honourable Okudzeto-Ablakwa) is "a doer and not a talker or a promiser."
"I am congratulating our hard working MP for making this strenuous efforts to bring the United Kingdom government through the British High Commission to support the grow of our suffering textile factory to create more jobs for the youth in the Volta Region," Mr Adzedakor stressed.
The former local President of National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) of the University College of Management Studies who is a native of Mepe Traditional Area in North Tongu District stated this statement when he was speaking in an interview with an Mafi-Adidome based Dela Radio at Juapong Textile Factory park on Tuesday July 5, 2022.
Mr Adzedakor made this foregoing statement when he graced the occasion to welcome the British High Commissioner to Ghana, Her Excellency Harriet Thompson to Juapong to
be conducted through the factory when she toured the Volta Region from Tuesday July 5, 2022.
Their visit was aimed at accessing how best the British Government can assist the Juapong Textile Factory to revitalize it to its full production level to create job for the teeming youth in the Volta Region.
Mr Adzedakor pointed out that they full in support of the new arrangements of their MP and British government to revamp and expand the Volta Star Textiles Limited.
Mr Adzedakor who was the old student of Adidome Senior High School (SHS) stated that he visited the factory last weeks ago and the workers have complained bitterly about the low production of the factory.
He noted that he was hopeful that the new arrangements of the MP would make the factory come to its normal position to achieve its goals and objectives.
He called on the youth in the area to make good use of the factory and stressed that the factory belongs to "all of us and that we should take good care of it to survive."
He added that the workers should think of the progress or survival of the factory first, saying that "they should not think that they are working just to receive money at the end of the month.
"I am calling on all the workers of the factory to take the factory as their personal properties and should actively involve themselves into the day-to-day operational activities of the factory and work effectively and efficiently to bring the progress of the factory, " Mr Adzedakor further advised.
He added that "We don't want to leave here and hear the news of the collapse or low production of the factory again but we want to hear the good news of the progress of the factory. This he maintained would go along way to improve the lives of the people in the district and the Volta Region at large."
He further appealed to the workers to be disciplined and self-reliance, adding that the workers to use appropriate channel to redress every challenges that may come on their way.
"I want to advise you all to do away of industrial action that may have tendencies to have negative impact on the factory," Mr Adzedakor advised the workers.
He further advised the workers of the factory not to lay down their tools should in case any petty issues arise.
As part of engagement processes to revamp and expand the factory, Mr Ablakwa has on Tuesday, 5th July, 2022 invited the British High Commissioner and her team of experts to North Tongu to inspect and ascertain the current state of the Volta Star Textile Company Limited.
Speaking at colourful event after about 30 minutes tour of the factory, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa says the factory when revamped can help in the promotion of the Africa Continental Free Trade.
He again said, the factory can solve a higher percentage of unemployment rate in North Tongu, Volta Region and by extension Ghana as whole.
He indicated that, the focus shall be boosting tourism and potentially revamping and expanding Juapong Textiles for more jobs.
The MP also called for an urgent measures to revamp the factory and pledged his support which started by bringing the diplomats.
Mr. Ablakwa disclosed that, the Chiefs of the areas has given out a total of 65 acres of land for the project.
The Member of Parliament is delighted to have welcomed Her Excellency Harriet Thompson, British High Commissioner to Ghana and her team to his beloved North Tongu.
Speaking at the same event, the District Chief Executive for North Tongu District Assembly Honourable Divine Osborn Kwadzo Fenu also pledged his maximum support towards the factory. According to the DCE, it is time to put aside party colours and jointly work as one entity to develop the North Tongu District.
He explained that, development is his topmost priority and he shall support the Member of Parliament Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, the Chiefs and the people of the area to revamp and expand the factory.
On her part, the British high Commissioner said she will engage stakeholders in the coming days on how to rejuvenate the factory into a modern and befitting status to boast economic activities in the area.
According to her, Ghana and British have a long standing relationship and pledges to put in her all for the success of any plan towards the revamping and expansion of the factory.
A Brief background of Volta Star Textiles Limited/Juapong Textiles Limited
Giving a detailed background of the factory, Mankralo Agbohla VI of Dorfor Traditional Area said, the Volta Star Textiles Limited formerly known as Juapong Textiles Limited (JTL) was established in 1967 by the late President Dr. Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah.
He disclosed that, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah built the weaving block and they were importing cones from Turkey and Yugoslavia while the then Head of State, General I.K Kutu Acheampong, built the spinning block in the year 1978.
Departments/Blocks of Juapong Textiles Limited
There are two main departments/blocks of the Volta Star Textiles Limited. These are Spinning Department and Waving Department.
The Spinning Department has the following sub-departments
4. Drawing in
7. Ring spinning
8. Cone winding
Waving Department also has the following sub-departments
1. Pen wadding
5. Drawing in
Collapse of the Juapong Textiles Limited
However, due to out-moded machines, the factory cannot generate enough greybaths to compete with international market.
Mankralo Agbohla VI again said, the factory collapsed in the year 2005 but, former President John Agyekum Kuffuor revamped it in the year 2008. The glorious days of the factory was 1972 to 1982.
Economic activities of the Juapong Textiles Limited
He again said, people from all walks of lives patronizes the goods from the Volta Star Textiles Limited. One significant aspects of the factory is “nothing is waste” because, even the waste cotton also serves as pillow industry for women in the communities. It also crates employment avenue for livelihood and empowerment for women.
Volta Star Textiles Limited has contributed immensely in terms of social economic activities of the Volta Region and the country as a whole.
The Volta Star Textiles Limited has Basic School built by Blue Sky and a football team which ones featured in the Ghana Premier League.
Accommodation and water treatment plant
The company has fifteen (15) bungalows to accommodate the senior staff. It has its own water treatment plant which serves as good drinking water for the factory as well as Juapong township.
The total workforce those days was 3,000. Some of the youths who did not have the opportunity to continue their education were gainfully employed in the factory.
Direct Beneficiary Districts
It will astonished you that, the Volta Star Textiles Limited serve the whole country more especially, Yilo-Krobo District, Manya Krobo District, Asuogyman District all in the Eastern Region and North North Tongu District in the Volta Region respectively. Volta Star Textiles Limited is one of the largest factories in West Africa.
Some challenges facing the Juapong Textiles Limited
Togbe said, the current situation of the factory is that, the machines are out-moded and cannot function proper as it used to be so many years ago.
“The factory needs retooling or new machines to be revamped and expanded. The demand of the factory’s finished products is so high that, the factory could not meet the demand of the market.”
The factory cannot afford efficient payment of its workers due to low productivity.
“We are appealing Her Excellency, the British High Commissioner Harriet Thompson to endeavour and assist us get investors to procure some machines to revamp the factory to elevate the poverty among the youths, women, and children. The collapse of this factory has adverse effects on our livelihood, economic hardship, school dropout and the youth resorts to social vices.” Mankralo Agbohla VI added.
He explained that, “Dorfor State has a vast land, those days, we cultivates cottons at Akotex Farms, Ghana Farms, in the year 1968 under Ghana Cotton Development Board of Ministry of Food and Agriculture.”
In a closing remarks, Mankralo Agbohla VI appreciates the British High Commissioner for coming to Juapong in the North Tongu District to assist the current challenges of unemployment in the District, and the country, especially the youths and to alleviate poverty.
“We the Chiefs and elders of Dorfor Traditional Area are ready to assist the British High Commissioner in providing any local needs such as, land, cotton to furnish the e factory and for export as well.”