Govt To Invest More In Security

John-Dramani-MahamaThe government is to invest more in security to put the country in a better stead to handle terrorist attacks, the President, John Mahama, has announced.

He said terrorist attacks, like the one which occurred in a Kenya shopping mall, should serve as a wake-up call to the nation to equip its security apparatus with early warning signals.

“I am going to give special directives to our security services for special training, so that we do not see such incidents (terrorist attacks) in Ghana,” President Mahama stated during a town hall meeting with the Ghanaian community in New York,yesterday.

The interactive forum, which formed part of the President’s working visit to United Nations General Assembly, provided a platform for Ghanaians in the United States to seek explanations on government’s policies back home.

President Mahama noted that, it was now difficult for Qaeda and other terrorist groups to strike America due to a tightening of security by the Department of Homeland Security, saying that terrorists were now looking for softer targets.

Touching on other matters, President Mahama announced the government’s decision to revamp the cities of Tema and Takoradi to enable the two cities to reclaim their former vibrancy as industrial and trade hubs.

He said directives had been given to the Ministers of Finance, Transport, trade and Industry, and the Customs and Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority to develop plans before the end of the year, which would turn the Tema Harbour into a 24-hour operation club

“When I receive the report, we shall begin the implementation,” he said, adding that the move would clear the congestion at the harbour and stimulate economic activities there.

Additionally, he said the Volta Aluminium Company (VALCO) and the Tema Dry Dock and Shipyard were being given a new lease of life, while the Tema Oil Refinery would be revamped to enable the plant to refine crude.

President Mahama indicated that procurement processes had began on the Western Rail road project, which would facilitate the carting of bauxite, cocoa beans and manganese.

He said the gas pipeline project at Atuabo, would also supply the fertiliser processing plant being established in the Western Region to produce fertiliser for the local and international market.

President Mahama stated further that the construction of a state-of-the-art international airport, to help ease the congestion at the Kotoka International Airport, was in the offing and would include an airport city with hospital, recreational, and educational facilities.

On energy, he said the electricity supply challenges the country encountered had eased, noting that government would partner independent power producers to ensure sustainable energy supply in the years ahead.

He informed the gathering that the government was diversifying the economy to avoid over-dependence on the country’s primary commodities like cocoa and gold, with focus on agricultural modernisation.

President Mahama said the government had set targets to grow the economy at eight per cent averagely per year, to help propel Ghana unto middle income status.

He said challenges to that vision such as high wage bill, economic deficits and heavy subsidies were being resolved.

Present at the meeting were Hannah Tetteh, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Seth Terkper, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Haruna Iddrissu, Minister of Trade and Industry, Paul Evans Aidoo, Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister, and Alhaji Collins Dauda, Minister of Works and Housing. From Samuel Nuamah, New York.

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