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General News of Friday, 20 August 2021

Source: Collins Owusu, Contributor

Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator conducts familiarization tour of government programmes

Gifty Ohene-Konadu and her team receiving briefing on some of the projects Gifty Ohene-Konadu and her team receiving briefing on some of the projects

The National Coordinator for the newly reformed Monitoring and Evaluation Secretariat, Honorable Gifty Ohene-Konadu (Mrs) on Thursday, August 12, 2021, commenced a working familiarization tour to some completed and ongoing government projects and programmes in the country.

The Monitoring and Evaluation Secretariat formerly a Ministry has been realigned into a Secretariat as part of plans by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to create a much more effective public sector that helps deliver his second term mandate.

Honourable Gifty Ohene-Konadu having been appointed as the first National Coordinator of the Secretariat barely a couple of months ago, embarked on the tour to acquaint herself with currently ongoing government projects, asses the progress of uncompleted projects as well as gain first hand information on the challenges and successes chalked by some of the Presidents flagship policies including some factories operating under the One District One Factory Secretariat where she used to be the National Coordinator.

Her first stop of the tour was at Akosombo where she visited various sections of the currently ongoing 97.9 Kilometer Tema-Mpakadan railway project.

The construction of the railway line as part of President Akufo-Addo’s government’s vision to revamp Ghana’s collapsed railway industry was scheduled to be completed in August 2020.

However, owing to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the date of completion had to be rescheduled and according to the management of the construction company in charge of the project, AFCONS, they are on course to deliver the completed project by March 2021.

With over 80% of works on the project already completed, Madam Ohene Konadu was taken to kilometer 97 along the stretch where the contractors were busily working on a 300-meter rail bridge that will see the rail line go over the volta lake at Senchi.

Madam Ohene Konadu expressed satisfaction with the progress of the project while applauding the contractors for the level of engineering that has gone into their work.

“We are really excited about this, the progress so far. Hopefully by the middle of next year we will all be travelling on this route. So well done,” she stated. She placed emphasis on the economic importance on the project and thus urged the contractors to ensure project is delivered according to schedule.

The team after inspecting the railway line then proceeded to Kete Krachi where they visited the Kete Krachi Timber Recovery factory, one of the factories operating under the 1D1F policy.

Established some three years ago under the supervision of the 1D1F Secretariat then headed by Honourable Ohene Konadu, the wholly Ghanaian owned company operates a concession covering 3,500km2 of the Volta Lake from where it recovers and process timber for international export.

Conducting the delegation around its sawmill at Sedorm-Yiti, Mr Lee Johnston said the company with plans to become Ghana’s leading exporter of timber in 2022 has already achieved significant strides in that regard.

“We have been removing the trees for the past three years, it is cut into the lumber that you see here and it is exported all over the world. We have some of the biggest clients in the US, Europe and Malaysia. Our trees come from the volta River and is exported all over the world,” Mr Johnston said.

He also outlined one of the major impacts of the operations of the company in salvaging the over 14 million m3 of timber submerged in the Volta Lake some 55 years ago due to the construction of the Akosombo dam.

“One of the importance of what we do is that by removing the trees from the river, we have significantly reduced the risk that locals who depend on the lake for commercial and other activities face,” he added.

Barely 13 months after its commencement of operation, KKTR was rated by the Forestry Commission of Ghana as one of the leading exporters of timber products by species for Ghana in December 2019.

Honourable Gifty Ohene Konadu speaking on the works of KKTR noted that the success chalked by the company clearly amplifies His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s vision of making Ghana an industrial nation through the 1D1F policy.

“This factory clearly bares testament to His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s vision when it comes to industrialization. In just three years after its establishment, the factory has gone on to become vibrant in the timber sector and has not only become a source of employment but has become a key contributor to Ghana’s export,” she said.

Day 2 and 3 in the Ashanti Region

The Monitoring and Evaluation National Coordinator and her team on the second and final days of the tour were in the Ashanti Region where she inspected several projects covering the areas of health, roads among others.

Her first stop was within the Konongo Central Municipality where she visited the site for the almost completed 60 bed Municipal hospital being constructed by Egyptian firm Euroget De-Invest Group.

The Project Resident Engineer for the hospital, Mr Ahmed Massoud assured Honourable Konadu that the project which is about 98% done is scheduled for completion in the next two weeks as they were left with adding final touches.

“The main construction is done we are now left with final touches and furniture assembling, we are ready for testing, we are ready for commissioning. Percentage wise we have exceeded 98. Some touch ups, furniture issues and medical equipment installation, maximum 10 days and we will be done,” he stated.

From there she inspected road construction works in the Kumasi Municipality including Nhyiaeso, Kwadaso, Bantama, and Asokwa sub-metro roads as well as phase two of the reconstruction works on the Sunyani-Kumasi Road.

The tour was concluded on Thursday with a visit to Kaskazini Limited, a 1D1F company which when completed will process palm kernel into oil which will be sold locally and internationally for both industrial and domestic use.

Contractors working on the factory which is expected to process 50 metric tonnes of palm kernel a day when operational estimated the current level of completion at 85%.

Overall assessment of the tour

Honourable Gifty Ohene-Konadu having brought her tour to an end gave an assessment in which she emphasized the commitment of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in ensuring the development of the country through industrialization and the delivering of necessary infrastructure in the areas of health, roads and education among others.

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