The Minister of Information, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has described President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s eight-day tour of the Bono, Ashanti and Eastern Regions as not only successful but also revealing.
According to him, apart from the tour offering the President the opportunity to witness at first hand the progress of work on the administration’s flagship programmes in the regions, it also offered him the opportunity to interact and hear directly from the citizens who were the direct beneficiaries of these programmes.
“The tour also afforded him an opportunity to hear directly from citizens, interest groups and traditional rulers who gave him valuable insights into what they make of his administration’s delivery so far and what more they will want him to focus on,” he stressed.
Addressing journalists in Accra on Monday, the minister who accompanied the President throughout the tour said the key issues that engaged the attention of the President during his engagements were education, Infrastructure and Agriculture.
He said on education, President Akufo-Addo was largely impressed with the delivery of the Free Senior High School (FSHS) so far and particularly to see all three streams that is forms 1, 2, and 3 all in school.
“The President is highly expectant that excellent results from the first batch of beneficiaries in June 2020 would put the critics of the programmes to shame,” he said.
On the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) programme, he said literally there was positive feedback from all the areas they visited and also the beneficiaries requested government to extend the intervention to cover other crops like cashew.
Mr Nkrumah said the President had committed himself to ensuring that his team in Parliament would push for the passage of the Tree Crops Bill when Parliament resumed sometime this month.
The passage of the bill into law would allow the necessary institutional support for cashew and other tree crops to be fully rolled out, stressing that “Cabinet has already given policy approval for the passage of this bill.”
He said the President also had the opportunity to interact with ministers, consultants and contractors working on key projects such as roads, warehouses, youth development centres and airport, educational institutions and agricultural centres.
Mr Nkrumah said President Akufo-Addo had admonished contractors behind schedule to get on track and also urged his ministers to ensure that those owed were promptly paid their monies.
“The Finance Ministry has in response outlined how it plans to make over GH₵1billion in payment available with immediate effect in fulfilment of its commitments,” he added.
By Cliff Ekuful