The refurbished and ultra-modern Albert Bosomtwi Sam Fishing Harbour has been duly commissioned by the President H.E Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo today. The facility through the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has been given a significant facelift to improve the economic livelihood of fisher-folk in the Sekondi Takoradi Metropolis and neighbouring coastal communities in the country.
At a commissioning ceremony held today at the harbor in Sekondi, President Nana Addo acknowledged efforts made by the erstwhile Mahama Administration in initiating the Phase II of the expansion project. He noted that the completion of the project is evident of his assurance given Ghanaians not to abandon projects initiated by his predecessors.
“The refurbishment was began by my predecessor in July 2016, and the completion of the project by my government is evidence of the pledge I made in the run-up to the 2016 general elections that I will not abandon any project merely because it was started by a previous government.”
He expressed gratitude to the Japanese government for their technical and financial support given to the project.
“I extend our sincere appreciation to the Government and people of Japan, who, through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), are responsible for the technical and financial support given to this project. We cherish the strong bonds of co-operation and friendship that exist between our two countries, which are characterised by mutual respect”
President Nana Addo added that the first rehabilitation of the fishing harbor expansion project was executed by the Former President H.E John Agyekum Kuffour’s administration in 2005.
“This harbour witnessed its first rehabilitation in 2005 under the Kufuor-led NPP government. Residents can attest to the significant boost it provided the fishing industry here, as the fisher and trader populations increased”, he stated.
He emphasised that the expansion works brought a significant boost to the fishing industry in Sekondi and neigbouring coastal areas. President Nana Addo noted government expect to realise a substantial rise in the activities of fisher-folk and traders in Sekondi and surrounding communities, given the investment made in the facility.
“We should expect a substantial rise in the activities of our fisherfolk and traders here in Sekondi, and in surrounding communities”
The refurbishment which constitute a second phase of the ports expansion project by JICA cost $20 million. The facility can now boost of a new administration block, renovated old administration block, layby warf, a new ice making plant with the capacity to produce 30 tons of ice per day to preserve catch, access drive way, a parking lot, pavement works, an in-port road, improved drainage system, street lights, overhead water tank and improved fuel dispensing system.
Taking cognisance of a rather poor maintenance culture Ghanaians have for infrastructure, President Nana Addo, charge the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority to ensure that the facility is duly maintained. He explains such inactions pose a major drain to the scare resources of the country.
“It has always been said that one of our major challenges is our poor maintenance culture. The deterioration of infrastructure, largely as a resort of our inability, deliberate or otherwise, to maintain them continues to be a serious drain on scarce resources. It is of the utmost necessity that we cultivate a solid culture of maintenance. I am, hereby, charging the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA), responsible for supervision of this facility, to take good care of it in order to protect the US$20million investment for current and future generations”, he clarified.
For his part, Director General of Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, Paul Ansah Asare assured the president and Ghanaians of strictly adhering to routine maintenance schedules to ensure the sustainability of the facility.
“We on our part will keep to the routine maintenance schedules and ensure its proper use to guarantee the long term sustainability of the facility”