The Western Regional Minister, Mr Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah has tasked Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDA’s) to develop medium-term plans that encompass job creation and economic prosperity in the years ahead.
He said unemployment was a major challenge despite the Region being endowed with natural resources.
He said the government could only provide five per cent of job opportunities in the public sector hence the need to engage the private sector to create more employment opportunities.
The Regional Minister was speaking at the final meeting of the year for the Western Regional Coordinating Council (WRCC) in Takoradi.
He said in preparing the Medium-term development plan of MMDA’s, the National Development Planning Commission has issued a guideline for the preparation of the new four-year medium-term development goals, spanning 2022-2025.
He urged the MMDA’s to effectively deliberate on the document to develop plans that were participatory and encompassing, adding that such plans should address the developmental issues of job and wealth creation, which were the major concerns of the people.
He emphasized that job creation and economic prosperity should form at least 80 per cent of the plan and stressed that failure to meet the purpose of job and wealth creation should not be entertained.
He entreated MMDA’s to engage their communities to capture their aspirations and to make same available to the technocrats so the government would know what the people wanted when providing their formal 2020 annual report.
The Regional Minister commended MMDA’s for performing well in the recent District Assemblies performance assessment for 2019, which was conducted in September 2020 scoring an average of 98 per cent and urged them to strive for excellence since Assemblies get extra money when they perform better.
This, he noted, would help the Assembly undertake more developmental projects to the benefit of community members.
He said the RCC’s budget for 2021 had gone through the statutory signing using the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Finance.
Mr Darko-Mensah disclosed that the projected income for 2021 from the government of Ghana is 2,350,683.6 with that of District Assembly common fund as 3,273,950. 00.
Touching on some challenges of the Council, the Minister cited inadequate budgetary allocation, inadequate number of official vehicles, imparting administrative and project management activities, and Inadequate residential accommodation for officers as well as chieftaincy issues.
Speaking on the RCC Outlook for 2021, the Regional Minister noted that activities would be determined and guided by Programmes as dictated by the action plan and budget for 2021.
“The Western Regional Coordinating Council will have the following projects pursued in 2021; Dualization of Sekondi -Takoradi road link, Interchange at Kwame Nkrumah and Paa Grant circles, development of
petroleum hub facilities in Jomoro, hosting the Western Regional Business Summit and the expansion of Sekondi -Takoradi water supply project.
The others are dualization of the Takoradi -Tarkwa highway, work on the Takoradi International Airport, the upgrade of the Effia-Nkwanta Regional hospital to a teaching hospital and a new Regional
hospital for Effia-Nkwanta.”
The Regional Minister, who is also the MP-elect for Takoradi, said the hard work of the various assemblies helped the government to win the polls in the Region.
He commended the 2020 National Best Farmer Mr Solomon Kojo Kusi from the Jomoro district for his progressive performance in winning the district best farmer in 2015, and National best tree crop farmer in 2018, which proved that consistency was key.
The National Best Farmer and other best Regional farmers were awarded at the meeting with the National best farmer receiving GH¢750,000 and a box of assorted items.
Mr Kojo Nunoo from STMA, who won the National best Agro processor, received a corn mill and a box of assorted items, while Mr Simon Tetteh from Nzema East the best Regional Farmer also took away a “motor king” and a box of assorted items.
Andrew Lord Satofiatey from Mpohor who was the Regional Best Farmer 1st runner up also took home a “motor king” and a box of assorted items with Mr Joseph Ababio from Shama, the Regional best in agricultural extension project also took home a motor bike and a box of assorted items.