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Saturday, January 22, 2011

NDC wants credit for things they've not done - Ex-minister

Former Minister for Fisheries,
Gladys Asmah
Former Minister for Fisheries, Gladys Asmah
Former Minister for Fisheries, Mrs. Gladys Asmah has described as laughable, assertions by Deputy Minister in charge of Fisheries, Nii Amasah Namoale that the Mills' administration deserves all the credit for the current infrastructural development projects in that sector.

According to the former Minister, the NDC after failing to honour its numerous campaign promises to the indigenes of fishing communities across the country, has resorted to lying about some pertinent national issues to save its image.

Reacting to some claims made by the Deputy Minister regarding the sector, Mrs. Asmah told The New Crusading Guide in an interview that "the man cannot be serious. He knows what he is saying cannot be substantiated. You can never twist the facts. The NDC is panicking. They are just wondering what to tell the electorate and that is why they want to take credit for things they've not done".

Meanwhile, the Deputy Minister had earlier told this paper in an interview that the Mills-led Administration deserved every credit for the current developmental projects in the fishing industry. These projects included the construction of fishing habours, cold-stores and refrigeration facilities to help reduce post-harvest losses and also modernise the fishing industry.

The Deputy Minister in the two-year old NDC Administration, said the Mills government deserved commendation for work done so far as the NPP whiles in office only exhibited its dreams for the sector and nothing more.

To this, Mrs. Asmah said "President Kufuor wouldn't have cut the sod for projects he did not know where money would come from for their funding. They had all been accepted and approved. Just as in the case of the Bui dam project, cabinet decided that we used our internally generated funds before the loan was ready".

She further explained that local funding was used for the preparation of the site for the projects, adding that "four companies applied after which a contract of $41 million was signed. We completed everything and knew where the money was coming from. He (Nii Amasah) said he went to Netherlands for what? To continue with what had been initiated".

Giving a breakdown, the former Minister said President J.A. Kufuor signaled the start of the projects by cutting the sod for construction to begin on one of the fishing harbours in James Town.

She said the James Town project was estimated at US$16.5 million, and all the projects together amounted to US$148 million. "How did we arrive at all these figures if we were just dreaming?" she added.

She wondered how the Deputy Minister could say the NPP was only exhibiting a dream, saying "even for the cold stores the equipment arrived in the country in 2008. They are unable to raise revenue because they cannot be trusted and that's why they are claiming ours as theirs".

He said all documents on the project were made available to the current Administration.

On the naval boats which Nii Amassah claimed the Mills Administration paid for through the Ministry of Finance, Mrs. Asmah recalled that the process of their acquisition commenced in 2006.

"Those boats are not like cars which you can just go and stand by, and say you want to buy them. It takes three years to build a boat. We negotiated for them after placing an order. We visited china and after some negotiations there and here, an agreement was placed before parliament for approval. All those happened before the Mills administration came into office in January 2009", she explained.

She said "I have said time without number that I personally went to Israel to initiate negotiations for some of these boats. Two of these boats are coming from Britain and the other four are coming from Israel and China respectively".

She recalled that the Vessel Monitoring System of the Agriculture Ministry together with Finance Directors of the Fisheries Ministry were asked to use internally generated funds to start the payment. MOFA went on to make the internally generated fund part of our budgetary allocation".

Source: New Crusading Guide

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