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GOVERNMENT IS STRIVING TO COMPLETE LONG-UNFINISHED PROJECTS

General News

The government says it is making strenuous efforts to secure funding for completion of various infrastructural projects, some of which date back to President Kufuor’s era, and ensure that Ghanaian citizens derive maximum benefit from such projects.

The government says it is making strenuous efforts to secure funding for completion of various infrastructural projects, some of which date back to President Kufuor’s era, and ensure that Ghanaian citizens derive maximum benefit from such projects.

 

It is therefore not true that projects started by previous governments have been abandoned and left to rot, as certain media outlets have speculated.

Addressing the press in Techiman, capital of the Bono East Region, the Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, said that, for instance, following the signing of a concessional loan facility of US$20 million between Ghana and Saudi Arabia, the Upper East Regional Hospital in Bolgatanga will be completed in October 2020.

The facility, he explained, has a grace period of ten years and repayment period of 20 years, with a total grant element of 49 per cent.

Begun by NPP

The first and second phases of the regional hospital project were started during the Kufuor government and the erstwhile NDC administration worked on the project’s third phase.

“The building works on the clinical block are fully completed and awaiting equipment installation,” Mr Oppong Nkrumah said. “The final works will focus on supply of equipment and operating supplies testing of some other works.”

The Minister, who is also the MP for Ofoase-Ayirebi, emphasised that, “The government is additionally working on completing several uncompleted medical facilities which are outstanding as a result of poor financing arrangements associated with them.”

Agric as a business

The Minister announced government plans to shift the focus gradually from a subsistence farming to an agribusiness approach, using 2019 National Farmers’ Day as the starting point.

“Agriculture has for centuries been operated in Ghana as a subsistence activity with a few practitioners focusing on it as a business. As a result, many young persons increasingly shy away from agriculture. The Akufo-Addo administration desires to engineer a paradigm shift and cause many more investors, especially young persons, to see agriculture as a business,” he explained.

He further said this year’s National Farmers’ Day, which will be marked in the Volta Region, will focus on the theme “Enhancing Small-Scale Agriculture Towards Agribusiness Development”.

Greenhousing

The government’s greenhouse farming agenda is also receiving a major boost with the training of 120 specialists in Israel.

The first batch of 51 students has already completed the course. A second batch of 71 is about to start the training.

The Ministry of Food and Agriculture has already built three greenhouse villages in Kasoa, Dawhenya and Akomadan which are expected to contribute to a boost in vegetable farming.

“The essence of the training is to give the graduates hands-on, practical training in greenhouse farming practices,” the Information Minister said. “The trainees will also be attached to host farmers who are required to train them in various forms of agricultural practices such as irrigation, aquaculture and vegetable production in other parts of the country.”