A small factory that produces traditional bathing and washing soap at Avoeme, a community in Aflao in the Ketu South Municipality is on the verge of collapsing.
The threat to the existence of this factory which has been in operation for close to twenty years is due to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s directive on the closure of land borders in March 2020.
The directive of the closure is to combat the spread of COVID-19 pandemic which has since brought the world on its knees.
Speaking to GhanaWeb’s Volta Regional Correspondent in an interview, the caretaker of the factory, Felix Ntim revealed the challenges the soap factory is facing in this ravaging COVID-19 era.
According to him, most of their customers who buy their products in large quantities come from Togo, Benin, and Nigeria; hence the closure has gravely affected their sales.
Mr Ntim explained that the factory, which depends on a bank loan to purchase raw materials, has been operating at a loss from March 2020. This is because of the absence of foreign customers, who patronize their goods in large quantities.
“The problem we are facing now is the goods…the place where we go for the goods, we just go and borrow it so now the people are waiting for their money and the goods are already here. Now, the bank too is worrying us. So, right now, we don’t have money and that’s the problem we are facing. The market is not good so we don’t have money to pay our customers who provide us with the oil and the chemicals.
“When the border was opened, every two weeks the customers get a chance to enter Ghana to buy goods so let’s say every two weeks; we can sell goods small so we can manage ourselves and our family and pay our debtors. But right now, the border is closed,” Felix told GhanaWeb.
When asked if the municipal authorities visit the factory to monitor or keep them in check, Felix said they have been coming but since the Coronavirus started, they stopped coming.
“Since the coronavirus came into the system, they have not been coming here but previously they used to come to check our condition and environment. Now, the work has gone down so they have not been coming. The only thing is they will come and collect their tax,” he said.