The Minister-designate for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Mavis Hawa Koomson, has rendered an unqualified apology to the people of Ghana for her conduct that led to the firing of a gunshot at a polling station in Kasoa, in the Awutu Senya East constituency, during the voter registration exercise ahead of the 2020 general elections.
According to her, she regrets the action and wishes it had never happened. She added that she would never wish to repeat it anywhere ever again.
“Yes, Mr Chairman, during the registration of voters in 2020, on July 20, there was an incident, and regrettably, it was an unfortunate incident and I wish it never happened on that day. And I don’t also pray that it ever happens again in the history of our politic in Ghana.
“Mr Chairman, I also want to use the opportunity to apologize to the people who were so scared on that day. It was in defence of myself because of the circumstance that I found myself in on that day. I felt that I needed to save my life by defending it,” she said.
Speaking during her vetting yesterday, Ms Koomson further pleaded with the Appointment Committee that because the matter was under investigations she would not want to talk so much about it.
“Mr Chairman, I will also want to plead with this Committee that the issue is with the police for investigation and so I wouldn’t want to say much about it,” she said.
Completed warehouses, dams
Throwing more light on work of the defunct Special Development Initiatives Ministry, where she headed in the first term of President Akufo-Addo, she disclosed that the ministry was able to construct some 427 dams and 42 warehouses under various projects.
She noted that although the ministry had a target to achieve per its developmental project agenda, it was unable to finish all as planned, adding that those that were successfully completed are being put to good use.
Touching specifically about the dams, Ms Koomson said, “There are about 471 active sites and 427 have been fully completed.”
The Minister-designate explained that although the government promised to construct dams under the “One Village, One Dam project”, it was impossible to give every village a dam within four years.
“There are more than 5, 0000 villages across the Northern Region and there was no way we could finish constructing 5,000 dams in four years. We, therefore, set a target of 10 dams in each constituency,” she added.
On the construction of warehouses, the Minister-designate said it was part of the government’s “One District, One Warehouse” initiative, under the Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP), to, among other things, reduce post-harvest losses.
The provision of storage was to essentially ensure a continuous flow of agriculture produce, create opportunities along the agriculture value chain and also support the implementation of government’s Planting for Food and Jobs initiative.
Providing an update on the level of progress thus far on the project, Ms Koomson said 42 of such facilities had seen total completion nationwide.
“Our target was to build 50 warehouses. As I speak, 42 have been fully completed and eight others were between 80 and 90 per cent done as of October 2020 when I got a report from the consultant. The completed ones include one in Sandema, two in Tamale and two in Techiman. Eight have also been completed in the Western and Western North regions,” she added.