All seems to be set for the implementation of the much-touted ‘One District, One Factory’ flagship programme of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP).
While some people, especially political opponents, have expressed doubts about the implementation of the programme, others have even wondered whether the programme would come on at all.
But addressing a durbar of the chiefs and people of Sefwi-Wiawso in the Western Region on the first day of his six-day duty tour of the Western and the Central Regions yesterday, President Akufo-Addo cleared the doubts hanging on the programme.
According to him, Trade Minister, Alan John Kwadwo Kyerematen, and his team would begin to roll out the programme this month (August).
“From August onwards, the programme is going to start rolling out, the ‘One District, One Factory’ programme,” he told the gathering.
The chiefs and people of the area appealed to the current Akufo-Addo administration to come and fix the roads in the area.
Much as he shared their concerns, the president pleaded with them to give him some time to fix the broken economy and roads before the end of his four-year tenure.
He also assured them of government’s commitment to elevating the Sefwi-Anwiaso-Bekwai district into a municipality in the next two months, which sent the people into wild jubilation.
President Akufo-Addo acknowledged receipt of a petition from the chiefs and people of Sefwi for the area to be made a region, saying the proposal was being seriously considered.
He seized the opportunity to thank them for the confidence they reposed in him by voting massively for him and his party – the NPP – in the last general elections, promising not to let them down.
He took them through what his government inherited and what they have been doing to turn round the fortunes of the country since assuming the reins of government some seven months ago, hoping that the much-touted 2017 ‘Asempa budget’ would bring some relief to Ghanaians.
Beginning September this year, he said government would start the implementation of yet another of its flagship programmes – the much talked-about ‘Free Senior High School’ policy.
According to him, everything was set for the implementation of the policy.
Touching on the cocoa industry, President Akufo-Addo recalled that the previous Kufuor-led NPP administration was able to boost cocoa production to one million tonnes per annum.
After Kufuor’s exit, he expressed regret that production of the cash crop declined.
“We are going to do one million tonnes of cocoa and move it to 1.5 million tonnes in the course of my mandate.”
That, he said, would create lots of jobs in the country.
Members of his entourage included Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of COCOBOD, Joseph Boahen Aidoo and Minister for Railways, Joe Ghartey.