The Volta Regional Minister, Dr Archibald Yao Letsa, has called for a smooth referendum for the creation of the proposed Oti Region scheduled for December 27, 2018.
He said there was the need for all to support the creation of the new region since it was a laudable cause to bring about development in the Oti enclave.
Addressing the second meeting of the Volta Regional Coordinating Council (VRCC), the minister gave an assurance that measures had been put in place to ensure maximum security to ensure that the referendum would take place smoothly, peacefully and successfully.
“As I have already stated on many platforms, the creation of the proposed Oti Region is mainly for development purposes and not for any other reasons,” he said.
Advising that people maintain the peace in the region, Dr Letsa noted that though the region had been peaceful, there had been intermittent occurrences of crimes and a number of chieftaincy and land disputes which threatened the security.
According to him, over 52,000 farmers who had registered under the ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ initiative had been supplied with improved vegetable, maize and rice seeds, as well as fertiliser which helped in increased productivity in rice.
Data from the Statistics, Research and Information Directorate of the regional office of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture indicate that the Volta region in recent years recorded higher yields in rice as compared to other regions.
Dr Letsa said the rehabilitation of small-scale irrigation facilities had been completed to boost production by ensuring all-year-round cultivation of rice and vegetables.
Currently, the rehabilitation and expansion of the Kpong Left Bank Irrigation Project (KLBIP) was ongoing, he added.
He said over “45,000 fishermen were engaged in fishing activities along the Volta Lake and marine coastal areas which abound in aquaculture facilities, including 100 fish ponds and 644 fish cages.”
Dr Letsa said the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development in support of the World Bank was piloting the co-management landing site in Angola.
He said the project, which would soon be inaugurated, would improve the livelihood of fishermen.
Touching on the Nation Builders Corps (NaBCo) programme, the minister said about 3,975 personnel had enrolled in the region.
He urged the municipal and district assemblies, as well as departments,institutions and agencies, to put the NABco employees to effective use for the benefit of the region.
Dr Letsa disclosed that the region would hold a Trade and Investment Fair next year to direct attention to the region’s economic development and to promote its agro-based industries, agribusiness and tourism potentials.