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Mills’ Free School Uniforms Project Kicks-Off

President Atta Mills

President Atta Mills

The initiative of His Excellency the President, Okunyin Professor John Evans Atta Mills, to revive the beleaguered local textile industry has taken-off from the industrial floors of Printex Ghana Limited, today, where the productions plants have been re-tooled, and will be sparked and warmed this morning, to print the specified fabric, chosen for the Free School Uniform Programme.

Upon assurances given by the Vice President John Dramani Mahama, all the fabric producing plants at Printex Ghana Lmited, will be sparked to begin printing of all the school uniforms that are expected to be sewn and distributed to school pupils in poor and deprived districts across the country. As of Friday, October 2, when The Informer entered the factory premises of Printex, officials were busily rearranging their schedule to start production this morning.

In an interview with the Administrative Manager of Printex, Mr. Moses Zizer explained that the company is reorganising to shift certain products from the production line, to make way for the new order placed by the government. Mr. Zizer revealed that going by the existing production capacity, Printex, per each day, is capable of printing 300,000 yards of material needed for the Mills’ Free Uniforms, if the company does not suspend its normal contracts. As a result of the urgent nature of the government’s demand, the production bosses are also readjusting their shift-system programme, in order to meet their deadlines and satisfy their loyal clients.

He further gave indications that some of the staffs laid-off will be recalled back to work in order to meet all demands placed by clients, including government. At the current staff strength of 450, an additional 60 to 100 members of the former staffs will be re-employed, as a result of the Mills’ School Uniform order placed by government.

Asked to explain what the President Mills initiative means to the company, the Printex Administrative Manager said: “Its our lifeline. Yes its our lifeline because it’s a rolling programme. We have indications that the quantity will be increased in the subsequent years, so you can just imagine our excitement.”

“Our jobs have been secured, and this is so important. Assurances given by the Vice President has further motivated us to re-engage some of our staffs who we painfully laid-off. So we can say we are gradually crawling back to serious business.” Workers at Printex will from today begin working five days in week, and alongside a night and day shift-system so as to meet production targets. The workers are again to benefit from overtime allowances and weekend bonuses, which will overall increase their take-home salaries.

The government through the Ministry of Education is yet to make the order for the production, however, H.E. John Dramani Mahama has encouraged the management of Printex to begin printing the required 5.5 million yards of material, to be sewn into school uniforms for some poor Ghanaian school children. Following the intervention and directive of His Excellency the Vice President, John Dramani Mahama, directing the Ministry of Education to place orders for the school uniform fabrics, the Ghana-based company is printing all the yards of material, required.

On the Spintex Road factory site of Printex, today, there will be a lot of activity this morning, on the premises of the hitherto collapsing textile company. The Mills government has budgeted GH¢200 million cedis for the manufacturing of 1.6 million uniforms to be distributed to poor pupils, for the 2009 and 2010 academic year.

On Monday September 10, The Informer published a story that exposed the intentions of the Ministry of Education, to source the uniforms through local textile importers, many of whom order their supplies from China. This media exposure attracted the attention of the President and his Vice, who then took over the programme and redirected the course of events, which has culminated in Printex reengaging some of its former workers and likely increasing the salary of these workers.

Source: Ghanaweb.com

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