Bumper Fish Harvest In The Offing – Deputy Minister
The Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture and New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Ekumfi, Francis Ato Cudjoe, has promised bumper production of fish in the coming seasons as a result of pragmatic policies put in place by the government to boost the fisheries industry.
The deputy minister said after taking over the reins of government, the NPP government had withdrawn the licences of about 34 trawlers whose activities on high seas were contributing to the diminishing stock of fishes in Ghana’s waters.
He said the previous National Democratic Congress (NDC) government allowed the wholesale registration of trawlers to fish in our waters with 104 trawlers being registered but when the NPP took over power it has reduced the number to 74 by freezing the licences of 30 vessels.
The deputy minister who was contributing to the debate on the 2020 Budget in Parliament announced that from December 2017, there had not been any diversion of pre-mix fuel which was rampant in the era of the NDC government.
“Mr. Speaker, in 2016 under the NDC, there were 267 trucks of pre-mix fuel diverted but from December 2017 up to now there has not been any single diversion of pre-mix fuel,” he said.
He admitted that during the first year of the NPP government under Nana Akufo-Addo there were still challenges with fuel diversion until the government found an antidote to it.
Besides, he said that from December 2019, the ministry would introduce the Canoe Certification Card to avoid the exploitation of the fishes.
According to him, through the certification card exercise, all canoes would be registered and given cards to operate in Ghana’s waters and any canoe without such a card would not be allowed to fish in the sea.
Contributing to the debate, the ranking member on the Health Committee and the NDC MP for Juaboso, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, said that as a result of the capping of the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIS) by the NPP government, the NHIS is indebted to many service providers.
He said the capping had taken away a whopping GH¢833 million from the fund.
He urged the NPP government to immediately release funds to complete all hospital facilities that were started by the previous NDC government but had been abandoned since the government took over power in January 2017.