Western Region Is Resource Cursed – Minister
The Western Regional Minister, Ebenezer K.T. Addo, has expressed worry about the under development of the region compared to the other nine regions.
“The deplorable conditions of our road network, the inadequate health and educational infrastructure, the deteriorating quality and quantity of potable water, the fast depletion of our forest resources as a result of plantation agriculture are the major concerns of the ordinary citizens of the region,” he said.
The Minister made the remark when he delivered the welcome address to open the just-ended Regional Ministers’ Conference held at Busua in the Ahanta West District of the Western Region.
According to him, due to the aforementioned challenges, “the temptation to describe this unfortunate situation in the region as a resource curse or a paradox of plenty seems to be gaining currency in certain circles in the region.”
Mr Addo however assured that President John Dramani Mahama has put in motion a number of social and economic interventions aimed at lifting the region out of the conditions it finds itself.
He mentioned the expansion of the Takoradi Port as one of the interventions that would generate employment for the Sekondi-Takoradi city to bounce back to life.
In addition, he said rehabilitation of the Sekondi-Kojokrom-Takoradi Intercity railway line was in progress, saying “this is to improve vehicular and passenger flow within these communities.”
Aside this, he said government was anticipating that the Western Railway lines from Sekondi-Insu-Dunkwa-Awaso and Dunkwa-Kumasi would commence after the completion of the intercity railway.
In the area of education, the Regional Minister said the sector has witnessed tremendous infrastructure improvement. “There is no single senior high school that is not benefiting from various forms of infrastructure, from three-storey dormitory blocks to 18-unit classroom block with ancillary facilities.”
According to Mr Addo, the Western Region has also enjoyed considerable investment in the water sector through central government, saying “there are five different water supply projects in five different communities under construction.”
These projects are expected to be completed within eight months and their total cost is GH?10.513 million.
In response, the Vice-President, Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, said the Mahama administration was committed to the development of the region, and assured citizens that nothing would stop government from carrying out intended programmes to lift the region out of its present socio-economic doldrums.
“The development of Western Region remains in the heart of the NDC government. In that direction, nothing is going to change our resolve to develop the region,” he assured.