Mr. Simon Osei-Mensah, Ashanti Regional Minister, has rejected claims that the Ashanti Region has suffered lack of development under the leadership of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
He said the narratives by critics of the President did not support the reality on the ground considering the huge investments being made by the government in all sectors in the region.
Addressing a news conference in Kumasi on the recent visit of the President, the Minister said the region had seen massive development since the NPP assumed office in 2017 compared to the eight years of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) preceding the current government.
He said the recent tour of the region by the President was enough testimony of the level of development in the region, having commissioned a lot of strategic projects and inspected ongoing ones.
“Between 2009 and 2017 when we took over, no single hospital was commissioned in this Region, but three hospital projects including, Konongo, Tepa and Bekwai have been commissioned under this administration,” he noted.
He said much as the region had not received enough projects as expected, it would be disingenuous on the part of anybody to create the impression that Ashanti had been neglected by the President in terms of development.
“There are several legacy projects ongoing in the region some of which have been commissioned in the areas of education, health, local government, aviation, transport, judiciary and road sectors,” Mr. Osei-Mensah pointed out.
He mentioned projects such as the Local Government Training School, Paramedics Training School, both at Akomadan, Kumasi Airport Expansion Project, School of Creative Arts, and the Suame Interchange as some of the ongoing projects in the Ashanti Region.
He said it was unfortunate and hypocritical for the NDC that could not construct a single interchange or flyover in the Ashanti Region for the 16 years it had been in office under the Fourth Republic, to accuse the President of not constructing any interchange in the region.
The good people of Ashanti region, he said, were proud of the President for the numerous projects they were benefiting under his leadership.
He implored the people of Ashanti to keep faith with the President, assuring them that the region would see massive transformation at the end of his tenure.
On the economy, Mr. Osei-Mensah said the President was on course to fixing the fundamental challenges stifling growth through the implementation of pragmatic and viable policies geared towards reviving the economy.
He said the Planting for Food and Jobs and the One District One Warehouse initiatives introduced by the government targeted food security and by extension cut down on importation of food.
“In the wisdom of the President, he thought it wise to introduce the One District One Factory so that the agro based ones will process the excess production under the PFJ,” he observed.
He said as the country increased its exports and minimised importation through such laudable policies, the fundamentals of the economy was being changed to accelerate growth.
These initiatives, coupled with the Free Senior High School Policy, according to him, were making significant impact on the economy due to their correlating effects on productivity.
The Regional Minister also underlined the huge investment the government was making in Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) to build the needed technical manpower for economic growth.
He said the current challenges facing the country was a global effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war which had devastated many economies across the world.
He therefore implored Ghanaians to keep faith with the government as it worked hard to turn this around to reduce the economic hardships in the country.