The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has described the Atuabo Gas Plant as a critical piece of infrastructure that will aid in the transformation of the Ghanaian economy, because “so much of the future of our country is bound up with this plant”.
According to President Akufo-Addo, “If, indeed, we are going to succeed in being able to transform the nature of the Ghanaian economy, and move it from an agrarian based economy producing raw materials to an industrial, value added economy, Atuabo is absolutely critical.”
President Akufo-Addo made this known on Tuesday, 8th August, 2017, when he visited the Atuabo Gas Plant to familiarise himself with the operations of the company, on day 2 of his 3-day tour of the Western Region.
Applauding the decision taken by the Ghana National Gas Company to ensure Ghanaians take over full management and technical operations of the company, President Akufo-Addo was confident this development will inure to the benefit of the country, and illustrate that Ghanaians are capable when given the opportunity.
The indigenisation of the company’s operations has saved Ghana Gas some $24 million annually in operational and management consultancy services rendered by Sinopec to Ghana Gas.
In view of this, the President made an appeal to the management of Ghana Gas to ensure the proper maintenance of the facility.
“One of the problems we have had in our past is that we have been very poor in maintaining things in Ghana. Factories, facilities and roads are established, and within months or a few years, they are deteriorating because there is no culture of maintenance,” he bemoaned.
He, thus, urged the Chiefs and people of Atuabo to “insist to Mr. Ben Asante, CEO of Ghana Gas, and to the others that the maintenance of the plant is absolutely vital for the future prospects of our country, and for the well-being of the plant. These words will encourage you to pay a lot of attention to the maintenance of the plant.”
Touching on food security issues in the country, President Akufo-Addo noted that it is for this reason that his government has instituted the programme for Planting for Food and Jobs.
This programme, he explained is “meant to begin the process of securing the food security of our country, and ensure that we are self-reliant on Ghanaian agriculture to produce the food that we all need.”
It is not right, he stressed, that Ghana imports basic food staples like plantain and pepper from Cote d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso, adding that “we are capable of producing these things ourselves here, and I am determined that we go back to the good, old days in Ghana where we produced these things ourselves.”
On the matter of free SHS, President Akufo-Addo reiterated that the programme will commence in September 2017, and will lift the financial burden of parents with regards to the payment of fees for their children.
“Those who said I could not do it, for propaganda purposes, I hope in September, when the free SHS programme begins, they will have the generosity of heart to say that ‘Nana, come for your stone’”, he added.
President Akufo-Addo stressed that at the end of his four years, the people of Ghana will see that “I made promises that I kept. I want all Ghanaians to see me as a man of my word.”