Give priority to displaced Kejetia traders - Mahama
President John Dramani Mahama has announced that the second tranche of $100 million of a $298 million Brazilian loan for the Kejetia Market is ready for the second phase of the market to take off.
He said the first phase, which cost $198 million, was near completion and once traders from the Central Market were relocated to the Kejetia site, the second phase would take off.
The Government secured the Brazilian loan last year and it was approved by Parliament under the Central Market Redevelopment Project.
The project is being undertaken by Brazilian construction firm Contracta.
President Mahama advised the city authorities to give the first option of allocation of the facility to traders who were dislodged as a result of the project before considering outsiders.
The President made the announcement on the Garden City Radio in Kumasi yesterday on the final leg of his four-day campaign tour of the Ashanti Region.
On the upcoming election, the President said during the one-and-half hour interview that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) remained the only political party prepared and ready to win the December 7 polls because it was the most unified, organised and efficient party.
"The mark of a good leadership is to be able to work with everybody. In politics, you maximise your friends and minimise your enemies," he said.
The President said in order to avoid any litigation at the law courts as witnessed during the 2012 election, he was working hard together with his team to make the margin wider than the 50.7 per cent he secured at the last election.
Without being specific, President Mahama is projecting to win the election between 55 and 56 per cent of valid votes cast.
His confidence appears to have been soared by the overwhelming support he received during the regional campaign where people lined up the streets to receive him.
President Mahama said his confidence was based on a series of surveys, opinion polls and other election-related researches ahead of the December 7 general election which covers his performance on all fronts, especially on infrastructure.
He said on the completion of the 123 community day schools, of which 13 are situated in the Ashanti Region, 45,000 children would have access to education.
In line with its educational policy, the government is putting in place measures to aid students choose ‘employable courses’ to reduce the level of redundancy and unemployment.
To this end, attention is to be focused on science and technology programmes, as well as vocational training to produce graduates who can easily fit into the job markets.
President Mahama said it was in line with this new policy that the county’s polytechnics were being turned into technical universities to produce more technological-based graduates to fit into the job market.
The programme would also focus on training in the oil and gas industry and artisanal training, including plumbers and electricians.
He announced that this year’s Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) results were the best since the introduction of the educational reforms system.
Indeed, over the last three years, Ghana has dominated the sub-region at the secondary level (SHS), where the best three students had come from the country.
The President said for instance, last year, the first three best students, all girls, were from Ghana.
The President, who touched on a wide range of issues in the interview, also touched on employment, the economy in general and on health.
Contrary to assertions that there were large numbers of unemployed youth in the country, the President said 78,000 teachers had been employed, as well as 23,400 nurses.
On completion, the 123 community day schools would each be expected to employ at least six teachers, which would increase the number of employed teachers in the country.
He said the number of cocoa roads being constructed had created almost half a million jobs through contractors, artisans, plumbers among others.
The phases one and two of the project, which the President said were completed, cost Gh¢ 1 billion.
President Mahama patted himself on the back for leading an aggressive and vigorous spread of health facilities across the country, including the 500-bed military hospital at Afari in the Atwima Nwabiagya District of the Ashanti Region and the Bekwai Hospital, both at various stages of completion.
The plan is to give every district at least a polyclinic, while areas with high population are provided with hospitals.
These are to be complemented by the number of CHIPS compounds that are scattered across the country.
The President said when voted to retain him in power, he would propose to Parliament that a percentage of the oil revenue be voted to support the National Health Insurance programme to cover certain ailments that have not been captured by the current arrangement.