Business News of Friday, 15 March 2013
The Minister of State at the Presidency in charge of Social and Allied Institutions, Mrs Comfort Doyoe Cudjoe Ghansah, has assured fishmongers in the country of the government’s support for them to acquire loans from the Micro-finance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC).
She gave the assurance during a familiarisation tour to the coastal areas in the Ablekuma South Constituency. The areas included Glefe, Akweteyman, Chemu lagoon, Shiabu and Chorkor. The purpose of the visit was to identify the challenges facing the fishing communities in order to come out with a comprehensive policy to address their concerns.
The minister, who is also the Member of Parliament for Ada, presented head pans and two bags of rice to the fishmongers and individual associations in the constituency.
Mrs Cudjoe Ghansah said MASLOC had been directed by the government to provide loans to fishmongers in order to enable them to purchase fishing nets, sheds and outboard motors to boost their businesses.
She indicated that MASLOC was established as a poverty intervention strategy to support the active but economically poor and needy to facilitate the expansion of their businesses. MASLOC, she said, was expected to promote the development and growth of a sustainable and decentralised micro-financial sector with grassroot participation in ownership, management and control.
She added that Chorkor was one of the notable areas when it came to fishing, and as such the government was ready to provide them with the right tools. Mrs Cudjoe Ghansah observed that Ghana had the potential to export more fish, and gave the assurance that the government would put the necessary measures in place to ensure the abundance of fish on the market.
At Glefe, the minister told the Old Age Women Association (OAWA) that the government would help them access financial assistance for their livelihood. She appealed to the fishermen to stop smuggling premix fuel to neighbouring countries at the expense of the Ghanaian taxpayer.
At Chorkor, the minister assured them of the provision of adequate premix fuel. The leader of the Chemu Lagoon Fishermen Association, Mr Daniel Ayitey, enumerated some of the challenges facing the association as lack of premix fuel and fishing lights.