President Akufo-Addo has dropped a hint of the creation of more jobs as has been captured in the 2018 budget of his government, which is to be read on Wednesday.
“You will see more jobs coming when the budget is read next week,” he said whilst addressing a durbar of chiefs and people Accra at the famous Mantse Agbonaa Park at Jamestown, Accra, last Friday, as part of his duty tour of the Greater Accra Region.
The Osu Mantse and President of the Greater Accra Regional House of Chiefs, Nii Nortey Dowuona VI, appealed to the government to create more jobs for the youth; and in response, President Akufo-Addo hinted, “The 2018 budget is about jobs, jobs, and jobs and jobs.”
He therefore lauded Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, crediting him for a sterling performance so far.
“Ken Ofori-Atta is indeed a magician to an extent that even where there was no money, he has managed to generate money there and the jobs are also coming,” he said.
The president reiterated his government’s commitment to launching what he called the ‘Marine Drive Project’ to create more jobs for the youth living in fishing communities.
President Akufo-Addo had earlier visited the Accra Composite and Recycling Plant (ACaRP) at Ajen-Kotoku, near Amasaman, and a similar facility at the Lavender Hill.
He expressed satisfaction with what he saw at the ACaRP saying,
“What we are witnessing here is the modern way of providing service, the collaboration between the State and private sector to deliver public goods. And, in this case, the most important in any city is sanitation.”
With Greater Accra Region’s population estimated between five and seven million people, the president noted, “If we do not have an efficient, modern way of dealing with waste disposal, then we will have a city that will have major troubles with hygiene and an egress of cleanliness.”
“The plant,” President Akufo-Addo added, “is an eye opener for me. It is about what is possible, about what collaboration can do, and what is possible, with encouragement and proper policy framework, if we have confidence in Ghanaian entrepreneurs.
“Ghanaian entrepreneurs have to be at the forefront of the social and economic transformation of the country. This sort of facility, seeing it work in detail is extremely encouraging.”
To Dr. Joseph Siaw Agyapong, chairman of the Jospong Group of Companies – operators of the plant – the president said, “More grease to your elbow; and the contribution you are making to our social life is inestimable. We have to encourage you.”
He continued, “When you are at the forefront of doing things, like you are, you will be the subject of controversy; it goes with the territory. I know you a little bit, and I know you are capable of handling it. Stay focused.”
On his part, Dr. Agyepong told the president that the company had invested some US$98 million in three different waste processing facilities across the country, employing 700 permanent workers.
“Your presence here, Mr. President, reminds us of your commitment to make Accra the cleanest city in Africa. The Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources is a first step in that commitment. We see this as a smart and achievable vision, and we are happy to make this a reality,” he stressed.
President Akufo-Addo also visited Zoompak Ghana Limited at Achimota, which specialises in the construction and management of waste transfer stations, collection and management of healthcare waste, amongst others.
President Akufo-Addo also visited Abossey Okai to interact with spare parts dealers and business owners as part of his tour.
He thanked them for the support offered him and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the run-up to the December 2016 elections, adding, “Had Abossey Okai not thrown its support behind the NPP and myself, winning power would have been extremely difficult, so I am grateful to you.”
He reassured them that the 2018 budget, which will be read on 15th November, “will make you in Abossey Okai very happy.”