President John Mahama yesterday inaugurated the renovated Tamale Central Market, the oldest in the metropolis.
The facelift, undertaken at the cost of GH¢1.2million, was funded by the World Bank and supervised by the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly (TaMA).
The objective is to increase economic activities in the metropolis and to make Tamale the commercial hub of the savannah zone of the country. It is also meant to promote trade and commerce between the country and its landlocked neighbours, Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.
In his speech, President Mahama said the Northern Region in general and Tamale in particular, had become a vital economic point in the savannah zone of the country and needed the necessary infrastructure for economic activities.
He also said people from the neighbouring countries visited the metropolis to transact business so the renovated market would promote business activities.
President Mahama pledged his commitment to improving the lives of the people in the region and the country as a whole.
Reacting to an earlier announcement made by the Tamale Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE), Alhaji Abdul Rahman Gundadow, that the assembly would plant 20 million trees next year, President Mahama commended the TaMA for that decision and said he would hold the MCE to his promise and would want to ensure that the trees were really planted.
He added that many times, people had planted trees without nurturing them and thus, most of them withered.
President Mahama also said tree planting was a laudable idea and indicated that most of the 100,000 youth who would be engaged under the Youth Employment Programme (YEP) next year, would be engaged in tree planting.
He added that the youth who would be engaged in the exercise would be supported with tricycles and water tanks to enable them to nurture the trees.
Welcoming guests to the inauguration ceremony, Alhaji Gundadow announced that the assembly was set to plant 20 million trees in 2016. He said the trees would be planted mostly at public places, including schools, hospitals and parks.
President Mahama, who was accompanied by his wife, Lordina, is in the region for a two-day visit, as part of his "Changing Lives" campaign.
The visit is also intended to enable him to interact with party supporters ahead of the November 21, 2015 presidential and parliamentary primaries of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).