President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has urged the Ghana National Gas Company (Ghana Gas) to ensure that gas transmission is extended to parts of the country with significant mineral deposits.
He said when that was done, it would help develop the country’s mining sector and enhance its transformational agenda through industrialisation.
Speaking at the inauguration of an operational building for Ghana Gas at Esiama in the Ellembelle District in the Western Region, the President expressed delight that the company had connected industrial customers operating within the Free Zones enclave in the Sekondi/Takoradi metropolis to gas supply.
Ghana Gas, he noted, was strategically positioned in the nation’s development process and promised that its potential would further be harnessed for growth in the sector.
President Akufo-Addo said efforts were being made to enhance the capacity of Ghana Gas to be able to export gas to neighbouring countries.
He said the Ministry of Energy and its counterpart in Cote d’Ivoire would soon sign an agreement for the supply of gas to Cote d’Ivoire.
The President said such an agreement would not only help in job creation in Ghana but also accelerate its development.
He further stated that Ghana Gas was exploring more areas of expansion, as it was currently working to develop requisite infrastructure for the production of compressed natural gas (CNG) in the country.
The Western Regional Minister, Dr Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, commended Ghana Gas for its interest in the development of the region.
The Chief Executive of Ghana Gas, Dr Ben Asante, reiterated the company’s resolve to focus on harnessing Ghana’s natural gas resource to its full potential.
In a related development, President Akufo-Addo has expressed appreciation to the management and the staff of the West African Mills Company Ltd (WAMCO), a cocoa processing factory in Takoradi, for reopening and revamping the company that was closed down in 2014.
According to him, it was in fulfilment of a campaign pledge he made in the run-up to the December 2016 general election.
While inspecting the factory last Wednesday as part of his working visit to the Western Region, President Akufo-Addo stated that “the promise I made to the people of Takoradi has been fulfilled.
“Because the cocoa industry is becoming buoyant again under the leadership of J.B. Aidoo and others, a unit like WAMCO is working again. It has made before, and will make again, an important contribution to the development of our country’s economy. It is good music in my ears,” he said.
The Chief Executive of the COCOBOD, Mr Aidoo, explained that “WAMCO could not get cocoa beans to process and because of that in 2014 it was closed down and the workers sent home, but their appointments were not terminated”.
“We all recall that some of the workers, in 2016, were sending a petition to Parliament when they had an accident and all of them perished just because of cocoa beans,” he said.
“We came and produced enough beans to supply WAMCO. WAMCO was down; WAMCO is now up. WAMCO, which collapsed, is now on its feet. WAMCO, Mr President, is now producing at a profit of $2 million,” Mr Aidoo added.