Issues of alleged involvement of members of the governing New Patriotic Party in cases of diverted premix fuel, needs to be investigated, Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development Elizabeth Naa Afoley Quaye has stated. She explains such allegations though basically perceptive must be verified and investigated.
Speaking to journalists during a three day familiarization tour in the Western Region, Mrs Elizabeth Naa Afoley Quaye argued that such crimes may not be perpetuated by members of the NPP as its being speculated.
“With regards to peoples perception that it is NPP members who are perpetuating such crimes, ..it is a perception. So it has to be verified, it has to be investigated. I am not too sure that members of the NPP would want to do that. The person may belong to a party but may not be perpetuating a crime because that person belongs to that particular party. The person may be criminal himself and not because he belongs to the party”, she intimated.
Mrs Afoley Quaye justified that the constitution of the various Premix Monitoring Committees in all coastal communities have brought about significant improvement in curbing incidence of diverted premix fuel.
“We have inaugurated the Premix Monitoring bodies within the fishing areas. They are doing a good work and so far we haven’t had any issues of diversion in recent past”
Mrs Afoley Quaye was dismayed to learn that cases of Illegal Unregulated and Unreported fishing (IUU) remains prevalent in the Western Region. Her visit to the Fisheries Commission in the Western Region was met with more than two dozens of generator sets and other machineries confiscated and parked at the commission. She noted some persons who were arrest in the process, “in most cases light fishing were taken to court”. She explains a court order may be needed to dispose off the items confiscated by the Fisheries Enforcement Unit.
“Usually they take these generators to needy homes, and schools but the other lighting materials are destroyed”, she added.
The regional tour, she explained would allow her to examine facilities in her ministries and as well, assess projects and developmental works on-going within the ministry. She admitted her visits to the Western Region must be regular, so she could adequately inform and act upon issues within the fisheries sector. She is expected to visit coastal communities in Shama, Sekondi, Axim, and other aquaculture developments inland in Enchi, Sefwi Wiawso and Akropong.