The refusal of state security agencies to patronise the boots and shoes produced by the DIHOC Footwear Division Limited (formerly Kumasi Shoe Factory) is negatively affecting the operations of the company.
The agencies — the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), the Ghana Police Service, the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), the Ghana Prisons Service and the Ghana Immigration Service — are said to have resorted to the importation of boots and shoes from China and India.
He said the lack of commitment from the security agencies was making it difficult for the company to undertake further projects.
“Here is the case that the GAF, our own partners, are importing from other countries. They buy from companies and pay them but when it comes to DIHOC, the case is entirely different,” Dr Laryea said.
He explained that shoes imported into the country, which were inferior in quality to those produced by DIHOC, were being sold to the security agencies at cheap prices.
“This is what happens — when the goods arrive, the shoes are under-invoiced, get cleared for a small tax and later over-priced for the market.
“Even though the selling price is doubled, the shoes are still cheaper, compared to those from DIHOC, which pays so much tax on the raw materials to produce in the country,” Dr Laryea explained.
For instance, he said, a safety Chinese shoe bought at eight dollars could be priced for one dollar to attract a minimum tax at the port but after it was cleared, the amount would be raised to about $20 and sold on the Ghanaian market.
“We cannot compete with such companies because it costs them little to get the shoes onto the market, compared to shoes made by DIHOC,” Dr Laryea said.
He said the company could not under-invoice the raw materials imported for production because of the import declaration form (IDF) number and other required documents being used in the system.
He said apart from paying huge taxes on imported materials, the company paid so much in electricity bills.
“Even though we are not doing much work, our electricity bills have increased from GH¢3,000 GH¢9,000 monthly. All this, in addition to the production cost, makes our shoes appear more expensive than those inferior ones imported,” he added.
He appealed to the government to intervene in the operations of the factory, else it would be difficult for it to attain its desired targets.
When contacted, the Public Relations Officer of the GAF, Col Aggrey Quarshie, said he could only address the issue when the Daily Graphic submitted a formal letter requesting for information on the shoe factory.
With the police, the Director of Public Relations at the Police Headquarters, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACOP) Mr David Eklu, said it was not a deliberate attempt by the police not to buy shoes from the factory.
“We buy shoes through the government and sometimes we buy in bulk, so it takes a while before we order for new supplies. We also invite companies to come and showcase their products for to see if they would meet our standard first before we proceed to do business,” he said.
Asked whether the police had bought any shoes from the company to enable them to determine the quality of the shoes, Mr Eklu said: “I do not have that information right now.”
The Deputy Public Relations Officer of the GNFS, Prince Billy Anaglate, said the service had never ordered any boots because the government had not asked it to do so.
The Public Relations Officer of the Ghana Prisons Service, Mr Vitalis Aiyeh, said he had to contact the Procurement Department of the service to know the facts before commenting on the story.
Source: Graphic online