Some prominent citizens from the Volta Region, including the 18 Members of Parliament (MPs) from the Region have bemoaned the current state of the region’s underdevelopment and the urgent need for all stakeholders to come on board and contribute their quota to develop the region devoid of partisan politics.
They have described the unemployment situation, the poor road network, the absence of good health infrastructure in the region as a well as the poor education standards as a security threat to the region for which they as duty bearers from the region need to devote time to address urgently.
This came to light over the weekend when all the major players gathered at the Volta Regional Capital, Ho for the first ever Volta Stakeholders Conference under the auspices of the Volta MPs caucus. The conference was on the theme “Harnessing Resources of the Region”
The purpose was to propel the development and infrastructural growth of the Volta Region.
Chairman of the Volta MPs Caucus, Emmanuel Kwasi Bedzrah, who is also the MP for the Ho West constituency, noted that even though the Region has over the years produced, and continue to produce some of the finest brains that have contributed immensely towards the socioeconomic development of Ghana, the Region remain largely underdeveloped.
He noted that the state of the road linking Ghana’s capital Accra to Ho, particularly the stretch after the Adomi Bridge at Akosombo all the way to Ho, is currently in a terribly bad shape. Same for the Eastern Corridor Roads which he noted has become “an albatross around our necks as politicians from the Volta region.”
“The non-operationalization of the Ho Airport five years after its construction is simply unacceptable, since that alone could provide hundreds of jobs in the aviation industry value chain for our youths,” Bedzrah lamented, adding that the Ho Teaching Hospital exists only in name without the requisite equipment and the needed resources for its full operationalization.
“The Keta Harbor project has either been forgotten about, or totally abandoned”.
“The tourism potentials of the Volta region remain largely underdeveloped notwithstanding the great prospects of that industry in the region”.
“Arable lands and large water bodies for agriculture in the Volta region exist but are largely underutilized, yet food prices continue to rise on daily basis” he added.
For solutions, Bedzrah suggested that “if we grab the bull by its horns through effective and sustained collaborative efforts such as the one we are having today, these and many challenges facing the region can be tackled.
The conference also brought together some Members of the Council of State from the Volta Region, the regional Minister, the Business Community, Chiefs, religious leaders, some assembly members, the media and other relevant persons for discussions on the developmental challenges of the region. Participants brainstormed on the issues from diverse perspectives.
“The Volta region is looking up to us as elected representatives of the people, and we cannot afford to fail the people because our forebears never failed,” Bedzrah noted.
He said it is imperative that they create platforms such as the conference periodically to take stock of their activities and brainstorm on matters of common interest, particularly in relation to the development agenda of the Volta region.
“Citizens from the region on daily basis call to either complain, or out-rightly pour out their frustrations with the hope that those of us in political positions hold a magic wand to wave in order to get these problems resolved overnight. The people may not be entirely wrong because we represent them and they have every right to hold us accountable,” he stated.
Volta Regional Minister, Dr. Archibald Letsa, in his remarks expressed appreciation to the organizers for the initiative and called on all stakeholders to come on board. He used the occasion to invite MPs and others to participate fully in the upcoming Volta Trade and Investment Fair scheduled for mid-November 2021.
He said the focus of the conference was in line with the development agenda of the Volta Regional Coordinating Council (VRCC)’s economic development plans and that it is important they work together to achieve this.
The only MP from the Volta Region on the ticket of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), John Peter Amewu who is also the only Cabinet Minister, and with responsibility for the development of the country’s Railway system – and the MP for Hohoe constituency, presented an elaborate plan on areas the railway lines will pass in the region linking other major business communities in the country and how it will open up business opportunities for the region.
Fiaga of Anfoega and President of the Volta Regional House of Chiefs, Togbega Tepre Hodo IV, asked the MPs to propose an amendment to the law that established the Ho Airport to make it the West Africa Hub and an Aircraft Maintenance Facility for maximum benefits.
“Turn the Ho Airport into a West Africa Hub and to also make it an aircraft maintenance facility, in effect instead of flights terminating at the Kotoka International Airport, we shouldn’t limit to from Ho to Accra, from Ho to Kumasi, change the law to fly to Lome, Benin and other Cities in Nigeria”.
The Conference was chaired by the Fiaga of Battor, Togbega Patamia Dzakley VII. He also lauded the MPs for coming together to discuss the challenges facing the region and proposed possible solutions to address them. He expressed his enthusiasm about the fact that the MPs are interested in the development of the region irrespective of their partisan political affiliations.