The Minister for Communications, Dr. Omani Boamah, has reiterated government’s continued commitment to the rapid socio-economic development of the country irrespective of challenges.
He said notwithstanding increases in the price of crude oil, drops in the price of cocoa and gold on the world market and depreciation of the cedi, among others, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government remained focused on fulfilling promises made to the citizenry.
Dr Boamah was speaking at the Volta region’s edition of the “Government for the People’s Forum” in Ho. He said government was working to transform Ghana into an advanced economy and advised the citizenry not to be swayed by negative comments by opposition parties, which seek to portray government as being ineffective.
The Minister said although there was still more to do in the Volta Region, the Region had had its “fair share” of development in the country and that it would be unfair to conclude that the Volta Region had been abandoned by government in terms of development.
“We are not saying we have done everything for the people in the Region. We still have some Senior High Schools to build. We still have work on the Eastern Corridor Road,” Dr. Boamah said, adding that government was stabilising the economy for accelerated growth.
Dr Boamah announced that the optic fibre internet project along the Eastern Corridor road spanning some 780 kilometres and aimed at providing high speed affordable internet connectivity to people in Volta and Northern regions was in progress.
He said the Ministry of Communication under the Ghana Investment Fund For Electronic Communications (GIFEC) had provided 600 computers to Community Information Centres located across the country while more of the centres were under construction to bring internet connectivity closer to the people.
Dr. Boamah added that government had also secured a 97 million dollar funding from the World Bank to provide E-services such as E-education and E-health as part of efforts to keep the people abreast with Technology.
He said the only way that transformational projects by government would be meaningful was for Ghanaians to commit themselves to patronising made in Ghana Products.
The Minister for Transport, Mrs Dzifa Attivor, announced that work on the airport for the Volta region would begin by the first quarter of 2015. She said land for the project had been secured and being protected against encroachment before main construction work begins.
Mrs Attivor reiterated government’s commitment to the project and appealed to chiefs and people in the Region to exercise patience and keep faith with the government.
She said by 2015, repair works on the Adomi Bridge would be completed and apologised for inconveniences created by the closure of the Bridge.
Mrs Attivor disclosed that more public transport buses were being deployed to the region to facilitate trade and open up the Region and enhance its rapid socio-economic development.
The Transport Minister said government had also acquired three 50 seater capacity “water buses” to facilitate the movement of people and goods along the Volta Lake and said the buses would soon begin operation after test-drive by the manufacturers.
Minister for Agriculture, Mr Fifi Kwetey, said the Volta Region was gradually becoming the leading producer of rice in the country. He said the region was also competing ‘favourably’ with other regions in cassava production.
Mr. Kwetey said government was working towards revitalizing coconut production along the coastal areas of the region to enhance economic activities in the region and urged young people to take advantage of the opportunity.
On education, the Deputy Minister of Education, in charge of Basic Education, Dr. Alex Kyeremeh, said the Ministry’s “Zero Tolerance” for absenteeism had led to reduction in teacher absenteeism from 27 per cent since the government took over to 11 per cent this year through regular monitoring and unannounced visits to 11,940 basic schools.
Dr. Kyeremeh said strategies have also been put in place to ensure that teachers were paid only for the number of days they were in school. The Minister said a total of 983 schools blocks out of the 2259 promised by government has been completed and handed over.
He announced that the Volta Region was benefiting from a World Bank programme to construct a senior high school with an electronic learning centre, a head teacher’s bungalow as well as a fence well.
A Deputy Energy Minister, Benjamin Dagadu, said 20,000 solar lanterns were distributed to various communities across the country.
The Volta Regional Minister, Madam Helen Adjoa Ntoso, gave a detailed report on developmental work in the region. She noted that the region had seen remarkable improvement on its roads and in the area of health. She stated that the region had a total of 1,353.1km of highways and 3,396km of feeder Roads at the end of 2013. She expressed gratitude to government for its effort and was hopeful all the promises made to the people of the region would be fulfilled.
Participants were given the chance to ask questions bothering on the pace of development in the region.
The forum was well attended by a cross section of the public including traditional rulers, the physically challenged and the youth. There was also a good representation of government officials made up of Members of Parliament and District Chief Executives.
Source: ISD (Yvonne Harlley-Kanyi)