Infrastructure provision in the north on course — President
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has stated that the resolve of the government to build the necessary infrastructure in the north to boost the agricultural sector in the area is on course.
He said it was unacceptable that 60 years after independence, farmers in the three regions of the north could not engage in all-year farming due to the lack of requisite agricultural infrastructure.
Addressing a durbar of the chiefs and people of the Builsa Traditional Area yesterday on the second day of his visit to the Upper East Region, the President indicated that it was for that reason the government was rolling out the One-Village-One-Dam policy where 570 dams were being sited in the three regions of the north in addition to the construction of 50 warehouses in the country to curb post-harvest losses.
"It is extremely important that we establish proper infrastructure for the enhancement of agriculture in the north. It is not right that 60 years after our independence, we do not have all-year-round farming in the north," the President intimated.
According to him, a $150 million loan facility to help establish agricultural mechanisation centres across the country had been put before Parliament for consideration.
President Akufo-Addo pointed out that the government was committed to ensuring that it built the human capital of the country to address the challenges of the 21st Century.
"Every child in Ghana must have access to education and money should not be an impediment and that is why the free Senior High School policy has been rolled out, "he noted.
Responding to some requests by the Builsa traditional authorities, President Akufo-Addo observed that the provision of a tertiary institution in the Builsa area was long overdue while the completion of the Chuchuliga Senior High School project would also be looked at, as well as the elevation of the Builsa North District to the status of a municipality.
The President also stated that the request for a solution to the frequent power outages in the area by establishing a substation would be looked at.
The Paramount Chief of the Builsa Traditional Area, Nab Azagsuk Azantilow, commended the government and the President for "demonstrating your love once more to the people of Ghana by abolishing the obnoxious fee-paying system with the introduction of the free Senior High School programme".
He stressed the need for the government to tar roads in the area, which are of relevance to the successful implementation of the Planting for Food and Jobs programme.
The paramount chief equally entreated the government to help address the high cost of services and goods, including building materials.
Nab Azantilow suggested the need for a cement depot to be built in the north to ensure that cement was sold at factory prices.
He appealed to the government to tar the Navrongo-Sandema-Fumbisi-Wiaga road and the Sandema-Doninga-Santejam-Wa road.
"Both roads are of economic importance to the Planting For Food and Jobs programme as the vast fertile lands in the areas will be opened up for cultivation, " he stated.
The paramount chief said he had released 3,000 acres for the establishment of an industrial park, and added that a site plan for the project had already been made available to the district assembly.