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Kumasi shoe factory on the verge of collapse

The Kumasi Shoe Factory is on the verge of collapse, management of the once-famous has hinted.

Kumasi shoe factory on the verge of collapse

Formerly called the Ghana Industrial Holding (GIHOC) Footwear Company Limited, the now Defence Industries Holding Company Limited (DIHOC) Footwear Division Limited, producing shoes for the uniformed security agencies in the country may shut down over the refusal of the security agencies, particularly the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), to patronise its products (boots and shoes).

Established in 1960, the shoe factory produced footwear and rubber sheets under an agreement signed by Ghana's first President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, and Czechoslovakia in 1961, collapsed in the late 1970s.

It has been resuscitated, following a joint partnership between a Czech Republic-based company, Knights a.s., acting through its subsidiary, Knight Ghana Limited, and the Defence Industries Holding Company Limited (DIHOC), owned by the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF).

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DIHOC Footwear now produces safety boots and shoes for private security and manufacturing companies, as well as sandals for schools.

Reports by the Daily Graphic stated that work had slowed down because boots and shoes which had earlier been produced for the security agencies were still yet to be purchased, and the workforce of 200 in 2012, when the company was resuscitated, had been slashed to 41 because there is little work to be done.

Currently, the factory is producing about eight percent of its installed capacity of 700,000 pairs of security boots per annum.

In 2017, Deputy Minister for Defence, Major Derek Oduro expressed disgust over the progress of the Shoe Factory.

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He was unhappy about the factory's work output since the establishment and also bemoaned the number of workers at the factory.

During a tour at the Shoe Factory, Derek Oduro was shocked to find out that the factory has only 49 workers.

The embittered Deputy Minister noted that the Kumasi Shoe Factory was established to serve a good purpose by supplying goods to several entities like the Armed Forces and countries like Cote D'Ivoire, Burkina Faso and so forth, and Ghana at large.

But the factory has failed to serve its purpose and has producing sub-standard goods which have no market value.

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