The Board of the DIHOC Footwear Division Limited, popularly referred to as the Kumasi Shoe Factory, has initiated moves to acquire a $1million Tannery in Kumasi to feed the factory with its major raw material, leather.
Currently, the company imports all of its raw material from India and the Czech Republic.
This has placed a heavy financial burden on the company, which now produces boots for both the security services and private companies.
The decision was taken shortly after a five-member board had been inaugurated by the Chief of Defence Staff, Vice Admiral Matthew Quarshie, in Accra.
The board is made up of representatives of the Ghana Armed Forces and Knights Ghana Limited, a local company which is a branch of Knights of the Czech Republic.
The Chairman of the Board, Dr Karl Laryea, who disclosed this to the Daily Graphic, said the decision to purchase Kumasi Tannery would not only enhance the operations of the company but also enable management to save money to undertake the needed expansion.
Touching on some of the mechanisms that had been put in place to boost the operations of the company, Dr Laryea said the factory had acquired a modern vulcanising manufacturing plant with the capacity to produce over 550,000 pairs of shoes and boots annually.
“Currently, the machine we have can produce 250,000 pairs of shoes and boots annually. With the new machines expected to arrive in November 2014, our annual production will exceed 800,000 pairs,” he said.
According to Dr Laryea, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Knight Ghana Limited, the company would also be increasing its staff strengh to 250 by the end of 2014, adding that once all the needed facilities were put in place, additional 550 people would be employed.
Asked what the company had done so far to ensure that President Mahama’s promise to supply sandals to all government schools in deprived communities would become a reality, he said DIHOC had scaled up its work to ensure that before the end of the first quarter of 2015, all the sandals would be available.
“What is left is to engage the Ministry of Education and other stakeholders to know which schools ought to be supplied with the Achimota sandals,” he added.
Among others, Vice Admiral Quarshie charged the board to come up with innovative ideas to ensure that the factory would become one of the largest in Africa.
source : Graphic Online