Fishermen in Central Region on Tuesday, 21st July, 2020 received an unprecedented boost in their trades with the receipt of 300 outboard motors at highly subsidized prices. As directed by H.E Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo the support, which is being funded under the Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP), is being offered through a collaborative effort of the Coastal Development Authority (CODA), Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development (MOFAD) and is intended to alleviate the plight of fishers and empower them in their business for national development. Under the intervention, a 40 horsepower outboard with a market price of GHS19,000 is being offered to the fishers at GHS10,100 representing a subsidy of 47.3%. Similarly, a 15 horsepower which costs GHS14,500 is being offered at GHS5,100 representing a subsidy of 65%.
A colourful event was organised at the residence of the Central Regional Minister, Hon. Kwamena Duncan for the formal handing over of the equipment by CODA and MOFAD for onward distribution to the fishers who were ably represented by Chief Fishermen of the Region led by Chairman Nana Obrenu Dabun III of Gomoa Feteh and members of landing beach committees in the region. Chief Fishermen present included Nana Kojo I, Nana Afful Awuotwe II. Nana Mesi Ansa V, Nana Fynn Bonsu II and Nenyi Mbir. The rest were Nana Kwesi Asabir, Nana Kwabena Quarcoo, Nenyi Kwamena Mortey VI, Farnyi Kweigya VII and Nana Senaman Tawiah II.
The event was also graced by Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) of Assin Central, Mfantseman, Abura Asebu Kwamankese, Komenda Edina Eguafo Abirem and Gomoa Central. Other MMDCEs present were from Ekumfi, Cape Coast, Gomoa West and Awutu Senya.
*Timely and impactful intervention*
In a statement, the Regional Minister thanked H. E Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for “hearing the cry” of fishers and swiftly coming to their aid with the subsidised outboard motors. Hon. Duncan also commended the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of CODA for his instrumental leadership in ensuring broad consultations with stakeholders in the fishing industry to ascertain the reality and also for standing firm with fishers throughout the process. He encouraged the fishers to show gratitude to the President for the huge subsidy.
Hon. Kwamena Duncan also stated that the fishing industry has experienced a marked improvement in the management and distribution of premix fuel, a phenomenon that has brought joy to fishers.
Member of the Council of State, Obrempong Appiah Nuamah II, Omanhen of the Twifo Mampong Traditional Area commended CODA for procuring the outboard motors, adding that it was ample proof of the commitment of H.E Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to develop all sections of Ghanaian society in all parts of Ghana.
The Chairman of Chief Fishermen in Central Region, Nana Obrenu Dabun III thanked H.E Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for prioritizing the development of fishing and aspirations of fishers. He further stated that, fishers are upbeat about their expectations of government since the President has appointed officials who understand the business of fishing to oversee development in coastal communities.
*The Intervention and Modalities*
In his speech, CEO of CODA thanked the Regional Minister for his consistent and sustained efforts; MMDCEs and other stakeholders for prioritising the welfare of fishers and development of the fishing industry.
Lawyer Jerry Ahmed Shaib made it clear that the procurement of the outboard motors was in response to requests from the fishers to the government, following which H.E Nana Akufo-Addo directed CODA to fund the intervention under IPEP
He stated that, following the President’s directive, the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Hon. Elizabeth Afoley Quaye (MP) took steps to commence the procurement process by liaising with CODA to bring the intervention to fruition..
Committees were then formed comprising representatives from CODA, MOFAD, MMDAs, landing beach committees and chief fishermen to identify, scrutinize, shortlist and recommend potential beneficiaries on the basis that they are actively engaged in fishing.
*Other interventions for fishers*
Touching on other IPEP-funded support for fishers, CEO also stated that the fishers will be supported with interest-free microcredit facilities under the CODA Credit Union to give their business a financial boost.
Additionally, CODA is constructing eleven (11) landing beaches in all coastal regions to improve Infrastructure for aquaculture.
According to him, ongoing construction of the Jamestown Harbour in Accra will also significantly transform the fortunes of fishers when completed.
The outboard motors presented form part of 1,300 pieces received as the first tranche of a total of 5,000 procured. They were shared as follows:
Komenda Edina Eguafo Abirem – 43
Abura Asebu Kwamankese – 25
Awutu Senya West – 20
Mfantseman – 40
Gomoa West – 40
Ekumfi – 36
Cape Coast – 35
Effutu – 35
Gomoa East – 26
Other regions within the Coastal Development Zone are expected to receive their share of first tranche of outboard motors in the coming days.