NDC has impoverished Western Region – NPP
Leadership of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Western Region has accused the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) of starving the region of the needed development and growth.
At a press conference at Shama in the Western Region, the Member of Parliament for Takoradi Dr. Kobby Otchere Darko Mensah noted that the NPP before leaving office had initiated policies and programs which was creating jobs as well as positioning the region strategically for the country’s growth, but the 8 years administration of the NDC has stifled the growth of the region.
Decline in cocoa production
Dr. Darko Mensah noted that the NPP under the erstwhile Kuffour administration increased cocoa production from 350,000 tonnes in the year 2000 to approximately 1,000,000 in 2010 but “currently, cocoa production has plummeted to approximately 700,000 metric tonnes… the reasons for the dwindling fortunes of cocoa production in the Western Region and some areas include the current government’s failure to sustain the provision of fertilizers.
The [NDC] budgeted for 180,000mt of fertilizers in 2014 but no fertilizer was supplied to the farmers in this year. In 2015 and 2016, out of the 360,000mt, only 180,000 was supplied yet the John Mahama administration continue to say that they are running a budget deficit,” Dr. Kobby Darko explained.
Sekondi Railway redevelopment is a waste of investment
The NPP also chastised the Mahama led administration for wasting monies on the redevelopment the Sekondi Takoradi railway via kojokrom.
A member of the campaign team for the NPP Kwesi Biney at the conference accused the NDC for collapsing the railway in its previous administration before the NPP took over power in 2000.
He said it is the NDC who should be blamed for the troubles of the railway sector, not the NPP.
He said “the NDC is in its 27th year in government…at the time they took office in 1993 if the railway was collapsing, it had 8 years to revamp it. It has also been in power for another 8 years from 2008 till now, but what have they done? Yet they are blaming the NPP for not doing anything about railway in 8 years.
“The redevelopment of the Sekondi-Takoradi Suburban Railway Line for me is the most useless investment any government will embark on. What the redevelopment will do is to get a train to shuttle between Sekondi Via Kojokrom and back to Takoradi. But who will want to go to Takoradi from Sekondi but will start from boarding a taxi to the train station, buy the ticket, board the train to Kojokrom before the train heads for Takoradi and when you get to Takoradi Habour, board another Taxi to the central business district when a single Trotro from Sekondi might have arrived at a cheaper cost by just the monies for the first taxi to the railway station in the first place? It’s a useless investment,” he said.
NPP will streamline illegal mining operations
The NPP’s Tarkwa Nsueam Constituency aspirant George Mireku Duka hinted that the NPP when giving the nod in the December elections will streamline the operations of “galamsey” operators.
He said “the NPP is not anti galamsey. During the Kuffuor administration, I was part of the team from Tarkwa who escorted some selected illegal mining operators at the Kotoka international airport for China to learn how to streamline the operations of their activities. That did not continue in the NDC. We will ensure that an enclave is giving to them with inspectors to check their activities to be environmentally friendly and discourage the use of harmful toxic chemicals.”
Hon Mireku Duka who is also a former MCE or the Tarkwa Nsueam Municipal assembly concluded that “the current licensing regime has not been decentralized enough. The NPP will open it up such that all operators in that sector will be motivated to regularize their operations”.
One district one factory
Dr. Kobby Darko Mensah concluded that “the following resources available in some districts in the region best set the foundation for the one district one factory vision of our flagbearer. Juabeso district is endowed with plantain and cocoa, Jomoro and Ellembelle has coconut and cocoa, Evalue Ajomoro Dwira has bamboo, cocoa and fishing, Tarkwa is known for mining and rubber, Ahanta West district has pal fruit and rubber, Mpoho has cocoa and palm fruit, Shama has sugarcane, fishing, Rice, and an industrial enclave and the Wassa East district also has cocoa and palm fruit.”
“….It is evident that the impact of the one district one factory would solve most of the youth unemployment challenges which has become an albatross to the nation and the Western Region.” The conference was attended by both past and present Ministers and Members of parliament as well as aspiring MPs for the NPP in the Western Region.