The Coastal Development Authority (CODA) in collaboration with the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development (MoFAD), on Tuesday, handed over 300outboard motors to fishermen in nine districts in the Central Region.
The beneficiary Districts include Abura-Asebu-Kwamankese which received 25 outboard motors, Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem, 43, Awutu Senya West, 20, Mfantseman, 40, Gomoa West, 40, Ekumfi, 36, Cape Coast 35, Effutu, 35 and Gomoa East, 26.
The Government had envisioned to supply more fishing inputs to fishing communities across the country under its programme to improve the livelihoods of fishermen.
Mr Jerry Ahmed Shaib, Chief Executive Officer of CODA, who handed over the outboard motors at a short ceremony in Cape Coast, said additional 1,300 outboard motors had been procured for further distribution to fishermen.
“Government seeks to procure 5,000 outboard motors to be distributed in line with the vision of President Akufo-Addo to implement pro-poor social intervention programs through the Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP) of which CODA is an implementing agency,” he said.
The CEO of CODA said the move formed part of a grand strategy by the government to give a strong boost to the fishing industry.
Explaining the cost and pricing regime of outboard motors, he pointed out that the 40 horsepower Yamaha outboard motor, which was sold at GH¢18,376.00 will be offered to beneficiaries at GH¢10,000.00.
The drastic reduction according to him was a directive by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to support poor fishers who were struggling to maintain their livelihoods due to a myriad of factors but not on a partisan basis.
Before the distribution, CODA embarked on sensitization exercise in fishing communities and stakeholders to inform, educate, and explain the modalities of qualification and distributions.
Committees were therefore instituted at all landing locations to scrutinize, shortlist and recommend potential beneficiaries based on the agreed criteria to ensure that those who needed them most received the outboard motors.
He, therefore, assured of CODA’s determination to ensure transparency, accountability, and equity in the distribution of the outboard motors.
Mr Kwamena Duncan, Central Regional Minister was full of gratitude to President Akufu-Addo for supporting fishermen in the Region to better their lot.
He called on all fishers to rally behind the government on its resolve to sustain gains in the fisheries sector by voting to retain the President and his Members of Parliament in the 2020 polls.
Nana Obrenu Dabum III, Chairman of the Ghana National Canoe and Fishermen Council on behalf of the fishers thanked the Government for empowering fishermen in the Region to improve on their incomes and livelihoods.
He pledged their commitment to take proper custody and care of the items to serve their meaningful purposes.