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Regional News of Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Source: GNA

Western Regional Minister calls for unity

Takoradi, July 15, GNA - Mr Anthony Evans Amoah, Western Regional Minister, on Tuesday called for unity among the people to benefit from the oil find and other natural resources in the Region. Addressing the third Western Regional "Meet the Press" at Takoradi, Mr Amoah said the Region would derive little benefits from the oil when the people were divided and engaged in protracted arguments on the specific location of oil in the Region.

He noted that the exact location of oil in the Region was not the most important issue but what should engage their attention was how to take advantage of the numerous income generating opportunities in the oil industry in addition to direct oil exploration.

Mr Amoah urged chiefs and opinion leaders to encourage the youth to acquire skills relevant to the oil industry for employment by management of oil companies.

He said managements of some oil companies had established bases in the Region and parking spaces at the Takoradi Port in anticipation of oil exploration in the Region.

Mr Amoah said the runway of Takoradi Airport which had been rehabilitated, had been expanded to accommodate large aircrafts as part of the Region's investment drive. He pointed out that the Region contributed greatly to the national revenue but received little development projects contrary to its endowment. Mr Amoah announced that 800 hectares out of 3,000 hectares devastated by the Cape Saint Paul Wilt Disease in the Region had been rehabilitated.

He said an additional 1,200 hectares of aged coconut trees were fertilized in the Nzema East and Jomoro Districts and coconut yields had increased from an average of 77 nuts to 120 nuts per tree per year. Mr Amoah said the coconut industry had employed more than 2,000 coconut farmers and processors and 33,200 seed fruits had been harvested this year.

On road rehabilitation, he said the total length of the Region's feeder roads was about 5,819 kilometres as at 2006 and out of this 3,012 kilometres had been engineered, 418 kilometres partially engineered and the remaining 2,889 kilometres un-engineered.

Mr Amoah said only 87 kilometres had bitumen surface and government was committed to improve the road network to open up the hinterland for rapid socio-economic development. He said since October 2006, the Department of Feeder Roads had undertaken many projects towards improvement of roads in the Region. Mr Amoah said more than one million youth had been employed under the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP) in all the 17 districts in the Region. He said contrary to public opinion, all those employed under the programme had been paid up to May, this year. Mr Amoah said most salary arrears for public and civil servants had been cleared and June and July salaries were being processed. 15 July 08