Mr. John Appiah Biney, Chief Executive Officer of J.A Biney and Co. — the disinfectants manufacturer, says commercial banks in the country are not doing enough to support the national call for an aggressive industrial sector to fast-track economic development.
Speaking to the B&FT in an interview, he said, banks’ funding have been directed toward the retail business sector — the commercial market — leaving out local manufacturing companies that are in dire need of capital injection to survive and contribute significantly to growth of the economy.
“I think banks in the country are not doing enough to support the manufacturing sector. Their interest is in the provision of funding to support commercial trading activities since that is where they can get their monies back within the short-term.
“But the fact is that local factories also need capital injection to energise their operations, to among others create more employment. With good working capital, local manufacturers will be able to go into mass-production to meet local demand; therefore, government will not need to borrow dollars to import basic consumables, and by so doing the cedi will be stabilised.
“For instance, Ghanaians keep complaining about the fact that locally-made products are more expensive that imported goods. This happens because local manufacturers are not well-resourced to produce much quantity, but at the end of the day they will still have some costs to recoup.
“As an entrepreneur I believe that the economy will be stabilised only when we keep producing our basic consumables, and that is why the banks must intensify their support for the sector to make local manufacturers more competitive and productive,” he said.
Mr. Biney’s concerns are in sync with the numerous calls from economists for an aggressive industrialisation drive to facilitate rapid transformation of the Ghanaian economy.
Aside from the banks, the disinfectants manufacturer said governments — including the current NDC government — have not been able to promote the manufacturing, sector and called for increased government attention to the sector.
“Government has also failed to come out with a strong policy to promote the manufacturing sector, and by this I’m not limiting it to the current political administration. We just cannot afford to politicise the economy.
“It is a difficult area to invest in, but it would be beneficial for government to develop and grow this sector rather than borrow money to import goods and products that can be produced in this country.”
J.A. Biney and Co. won an award at this year’s edition of the Ghana Made Awards held recently in Accra with its “Bine 20 Disinfectant”. The company holds a 30 percent market share of the disinfectant business in the country, and provides over 100 jobs indirectly.
Mr. Biney commented on the awards and future aspirations and focus of the company: “This is a testimony to the company’s success and a reward, coming out of the commitment of both staff and management.
“We are challenged by this award to work harder and grow the company, as we plan to move our market share to 60 percent in the next three years. We were recognised for only one product out of the six products produced by the company, so there is room for more work.”
J.A. Biney and Co. is into the business of manufacturing disinfectants, bleaches, liquid soap, insecticides and stain-removing chemicals.