The presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has assured the people of the Western Region that an NPP government will develop the region into an oil services hub with a first class port facility, to serve the needs of West Africa.
This, he explained, would be done by positioning the Western Region as an efficient centre for the support of the oil industry in the West African region, which will result in the relocation of the headquarters of the Ghana National Petroleum Company (GNPC) to the region.
Additionally, Nana Akufo-Addo stated that “we are going to develop a petrochemical industry here in the Western Region, so we can maximise the value of the oil find. These are some of the policy initiatives and programmes we will implement to bring jobs, wealth and prosperity to the region, and to Ghana”.
The NPP flagbearer also bemoaned the lack of development of the Western Region, under the John Mahama administration, since the commencement of the production of oil in commercial quantities in 2011, which has seen the nation realise some $5billion in oil revenues.
“If we, in the NPP, were in power these five years of the oil discovery, the face of the Western Region, and, indeed, the face of Ghana would have changed dramatically. Western Region and Ghana would have been on an accelerated path of progress and prosperity with the revenues from our oil find,” he added.
Nana Akufo-Addo made these known on Sunday, when he addressed a rally at the Sekondi Methodist Park, the venue for the NPP’s Western Regional rally.
Describing the Western Region as “the base of the railway industry of our country”, the NPP flagbearer indicated that a future Akufo-Addo government will leverage the country’s oil revenues to complete the Accra-Kumasi-Paga rail line connections, as well as oversee a comprehensive rehabilitation of the Western Rail Lines.
This, he added, would facilitate the haulage of bauxite, manganese, cocoa, cement, iron ore and other bulk commodities, as well as the transportation of people from the region to all parts of the country.
“We are going to develop a modern railway network with strong economic linkages, which open up our country, and bring economic development of our country. I am assuring you that my government will completely overhaul the Western Rail Lines to ensure this happens,” Akufo-Addo stressed.
Reaffirming his commitment to the creation of a new “Western North” region, he explained that considering the fact that “a significant proportion of Ghana’s natural resources, such gold and cocoa, as well as foodstuff” can be found in that part of the country, the creation of the “Western-North” region is long overdue.
The creation of the region, he added, is to ensure a more equitable development of the region, as well as address the unwieldy size of the Western Region.
Outlining some of the other policies for the development of the region, Nana Akufo-Addo reiterated his commitment towards the establishment of the Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP), which will see every constituency receiving the equivalent of $1 million every year to deal with problems of sanitation, roads, electricity and other infrastructural needs of the constituency.