MP weeps for fishermen

Politics of Friday, 5 April 2013

Source: Daily Guide

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Komenda/Edina/Eguafo/Abrem (KEEA) in the Central Region, Dr Nana Ato Arthur has chided the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government for paying lip service to the construction of a fish processing plant in Elmina in his constituency which is the second biggest site for fish production in the country apart from the Tema Fishing harbour.

He noted that since 2009 when the NDC took over the reins of government from the NPP, it has always been putting the construction of the fish processing and landing plant at Elmina in its budget but that has been a mirage.

“This year in the budget statement of the government, on page 94, paragraph 314, the government has stated again that a fish processing plant will be completed in 2013 at Elmina which I see as another piece of propaganda by this NDC government,” he said.

According to the Dr Nana Ato Arthur, who was speaking in an interview, the NDC government has always promised the people of Elmina that the fish processing plant will be completed for fishermen in that area.

“Sod has not even been cut let alone the project taking off,” he noted, adding that the irony of it all is that the constituents had shown unflinching loyalty to the NDC by voting for the party since the inception of the fourth republic.

The MP for KEEA explained that in 2007, the NPP government secured a loan facility for the project and the sod was cut for the commencement of the project but when the NDC took over nothing was heard about the project again.

He said Elmina, which is predominantly a fishing community and produces greater percentage of the fish requirement of the nation, deserves the fish processing plant as early as possible.

“It is sad to note that in July and August which is bumper season, you see fishermen bringing huge catches and not knowing what to do with the catch because there might not be ready market and the fish would have to be thrown away after the fishermen had toiled for the catch,” he noted.

He indicated that the construction of the fish processing plant will help process the fish and store all the waste during the bumper season for the lean season so that there could be fish all year round.

According to him, the presence of the fish processing plant will assure the fishermen of all year round market for their produce, as well as secure income all year round.

The MP explained that the fish processing plant will encourage most of the youth who are unemployed to also venture into fishing while the presence of the plant will help provide other job opportunities to the youth in the area.

He also noted that as an MP, he would ensure that the Komenda sugar factory is resuscitated to give employment to the people in the area.

“The government tells us that $35million credit facility has been given by the government of India for the resuscitation of the Komenda sugar factory and we will follow the project with keen interest so that the sugar factory will come back to life”