Ghana is expected to begin the production of natural gas this year from the National Gas Processing Plant at Atuabo, in the Western Region, President John Mahama has announced.
He said the gas would initially feed the Aboadze Thermal Plant for the purposes of power generation and the proposed fertilizer processing plant, also in the region, before up-scaling to commercial production.
Speaking during a courtesy call on him by the Western Regional House of Chiefs at the Castle, Osu in Accra yesterday, President Mahama stated that it was the intention of the government to accelerate the oil and gas industry to offer alternative employments avenue for the youth.
He expressed concern about the activities of small-scale illegal miners (galamsey), which he said, was taking a huge toll on the environment and called for concerted efforts of the government and traditional rulers to stem the practice.
Led by Osagyefo Dr Kwamena Enimil, President of the House, the Chiefs were at the Castle to congratulate President Mahama on his election and inauguration as the President of Ghana and to express their support.
President Mahama noted that about one billion dollars of the Chinese Development Bank facility had been sunk into gas processing plant, the fertilizer processing plant and the free zones enclave for the downstream petrochemical industry in the region.
In order to equip the youth with the requisite skills to take advantage of the oil industry, President Mahama indicated that the Takoradi Polytechnic and the Takoradi Technical Institute were being retooled.
He regretted that the Western Region was one of the areas that contributed the most of the nation’s natural resources but has faced the most infrastructural challenges.
One such challenge, he said, has been the poor road network in the region and disclosed that an inventory of the critical road network that needed to be worked on would be undertaken.
In view of the heavy rainfall pattern in the area, President Mahama announced that there would be a policy shift such that bituminous surface roads would now replace the feeder road projects.
President Mahama assured the Chiefs that the government would partner them to promote cocoa industry to ensure that the product became the major source of employment, saying government would not want the nation’s tag as the second largest producer of cocoa to diminish.
“Government will push ahead with the rehabilitation of the Western Railway lines to facilitate the transport of bauxite and manganese,” he added, stressing that the Western Corridor Development would be the catalyst of the region’s development.
Odeneho Gyapong Ababio II, Spokesperson of the Chiefs, urged President Mahama to continue to thread the path of unity that he had chosen saying, “it delights our hearts as Chiefs for you to espouse partnership and not partisanship in national development.
“We also share in your belief that the days of division and discord should be behind us and we need a national renewal,” Odeneho Ababio stressed and pledged to support Mr Mahama on the road to recovery, shared growth and prosperity.
Also at the Castle to call on President Mahama was a delegation from the Central Regional House of Chiefs, led by Daasebre Kwebu Ewusie VII, Omanhen of Abeadze traditional area, and President of the House.
Source: The Ghanaian Times