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Opinions of Thursday, 6 September 2007

Columnist: Oto, Kwadjo

Bui City Project To Create About 4000 Jobs

Since 1992, job creation has been a part of all Manifestoes of the NPP. In line with this, NPP government has been consistent with the promise of creating jobs for the people of Ghana especially the youth from the time when the party took over power from the P(NDC) led by Mr. Rawlings in 2001.

The significance and the rippling effect of these jobs to the people of Ghana cannot be overlooked. There is the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP) which is current employing about 200,000 youths who are the future of this country. The Affordable Housing, Millennium Challenge Account, Metro Mass Transport, massive road and other infrastructural constructions going on in the country are all giving jobs to Ghanaians. The new job creation project on the block is the over 90 years old Bui Dam which comes with a City to create over 3000 jobs.

As the Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Hon. Ignatius Baffour Awuah, said at the sod cutting ceremony of the Bui Dam that “there are political parties and there are parties. We have a party that build Dam and we have party that does not build Dam.” In the same vein, we have party that creates job and we have had party that sent people out of jobs. When NDC was in power, they jailed Ghanaians for being businessmen and entrepreneurs. Mr. Rawlings openly on platforms campaigned against purchasing the products of some Ghanaians so that their companies would collapse. Baba Jamal, NDC’s Deputy General Secretary is on record to have said on Peace Fm’s morning show “Kokrokoo” on Thursday 12th of April 2007, that “NDC is the cause of all the street children and dog chain sellers that we see on our streets today.”

About 2900 Ghanaians out of a project construction workforce of about 3,500 workers will benefit directly from the jobs that would be created out of the Bui Dam project. Ghanaian managers, engineers, technicians and even our unskilled labour will be employed directly. It is also expected that the technical know – how would be tapped by the Ghanaian workers so that we can execute similar projects on our own in the future.

Having said that, it is also expected that over 1000 indirect jobs will be created for the people of Banda in the Brong Ahafo Region, Gonja in the Northern Region and the people of Ghana as a whole. This will directly impact the livelihood of citizens of two Districts, Tain and Bole. Our mothers and sisters will also benefit from the indirect jobs through the sale of food stuffs and farm products in markets that are going to spring up around the Dam site. As part of the Bui City project, there is going to be Schools, Hospitals, roads and even Airport. Ghanaian workers will be employed to work on all these projects. Teachers are going to be employed to teach in the schools as well as doctors and all the other hospital staff. The major infrastructural boost that will come as a result of this project will give Brong Ahafo a major facelift.

Additionally, the Bui project has other components which are going to create indirect jobs besides the generation of power. One of such components is the irrigation scheme which is expected to facilitate all year – farming around the area. This will encourage a lot of people especially our young men and women who are not working to enter into farming knowing very well that their farms are going to yield products all year – round. Secondly, there is the component of the Bui National Park which will promote eco – tourism as a natural reserve. The project will also equip and empower the Game and Wildlife Department to better monitor and manage the Bui National Park. There will be workers as part of the indirect jobs to be created by the Bui Dam project to manage the Bui National Park.

Fellow countrymen and women, it is undeniably true that President Kufuor led NPP government has done well in fulfilling the party’s promise of given jobs to the people of Ghana. It is up to us as citizens of this country to decide whether we would like giving power back to the NDC so that they can send the youth back to the streets, to create a country of massive unemployment as it used to be in the past or to keep NPP in power to continue employing our youth from the streets and create jobs for them from historical and developmental projects such as the Bui Dam.

Kwadjo Oto

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