President John Dramani Mahama has given the assurance that the government will increase its investment in security to enable Ghana to handle terrorist attacks.
He said the recent terrorist attack in a shopping mall in Kenya should serve as a wake-up call to the country to equip its security apparatus with early warning signals.
ï¿½I am going to give special directives to our security services for special training so that we do not see such incidents in Ghana,ï¿½ he said.
President Mahama gave the assurance yesterday at a town hall meeting with the Ghanaian community in New York.
The interactive forum, which formed part of the Presidentï¿½s working visit to United Nations General Assembly, was to educate Ghanaians in the United States on the governmentï¿½s policies.
The President said it was now difficult for Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups to strike America due to the tightening of security by the Department of Homeland Security, so terrorists were now looking for easier targets.
Touching on other issues, President Mahama said the government intended to revamp Tema and Takoradi to enable the two cities to reclaim their former status as industrial and trade hubs.
He said directives had been given to the ministers of finance, transport, trade and industry, and the Customs and Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority to initiate strategies to make the Tema Port a 24-hour operational facility before the end of the year.
ï¿½When I receive the report, we shall begin its implementation,ï¿½ he said, adding that the move would clear the congestion at the port and stimulate economic activities there.
Besides, President Mahama said, the Volta Aluminium Company (VALCO) and the Tema Drydock and Shipyard were being given a new lease of life and the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) would be revamped to enable it to refine crude.
On Takoradi, he said procurement processes had begun on the Western Rail Line Project, which would facilitate the carting of bauxite, cocoa beans and manganese.
He also said the gas pipeline project at Atuabo would power the fertiliser processing plant being established in the Western Region to enable it to produce for the local and international markets.
President Mahama added that the construction of a state-of-the-art international airport to help ease the congestion at the Kotoka International Airport was in the offing.
He said the project would include an airport city with a hospital, recreational and educational facilities.
Growing the economy
On energy, the President said the electricity supply challenges the country encountered had eased, noting that government would partner independent power producers to ensure sustainable energy supply in the years ahead.
He informed the gathering that the government was diversifying the economy to avoid over-dependence on the countryï¿½s primary commodities like cocoa and gold, and indicated that the focus now would be on the modernisation of agriculture.
President Mahama said the government had set targets to grow the economy at eight per cent averagely per year to help propel Ghana into full middle-income status.
He added that challenges to that vision such as high wage bill, economic deficits and heavy subsidies were being resolved.
Present at the meeting were the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ms Hannah Tetteh; the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Mr Seth Terkper; the Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Haruna Iddrissu; the Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Paul Evans Aidoo, and the Minister of Works and Housing, Alhaji Collins Dauda.
Source: Daily Graphic
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