The presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party, Nana Akufo-Addo, has assured all those involved in the fishing industry, particularly fishermen, that an NPP government under his leadership “will resurrect immediately, the Ministry of Fisheries that the NDC unfortunately collapsed”.

He said he could not fathom how such a vital ministry could be scrapped, bearing in mind the many problems that the fishing industry continued to face.

“I am not talking about having a deputy minister in charge of fisheries under another ministry. I am talking about having a full ministry with a minister and perhaps a deputy, fully engaged in making sure that all the problems that you have put before me today, are solved quickly and sustainably,” Nana Akufo-Addo said.

The NPP leader disclosed this on the first day of his ‘Hope Tour’ when he met with the fishing community in the Central Region.

Interacting with fisher-folk in Nyanyano, Gomoa Fetteh, Senya and Eku-Mpoano on the first day of his tour, Nana Akufo-Addo observed that “what Ghana needs today is the right leadership. A leadership that can take the right decisions and make the necessary investment into key sectors of the economy in order to improve the living standards of our country’s people.”

He added, “I am convinced, without any doubt in my mind, that providing free education up to senior high school level for all our children, is one such investment that we must make as a country and if God willing, I become president, the NPP will make senior high school education free for all.”

The Chief of Nyanyano welcomes Nana Addo with warm embrace

Inspired by the thunderous applause that this comment attracted from the crowd, Nana Akufo-Addo took a swipe at the NDC, saying, “The people doubting us today are the same people who doubted us when we were proposing the National Health Insurance Scheme.

“Their MPs even walked out of parliament when the legislation was going to be passed, but we still did it and the Ghanaian people are the beneficiaries. Today, they are saying free senior high school education is not possible. But I am convinced that we must do it and we will do it.”

Fishermen, boat owners and fish mongers revealed some of the problems confronting the fishing industry to the NPP flagbearer.

They cited the unreasonable increase in the price of outboard motors and other fishing equipment, irregular supply of pre-mix fuel, resulting in a constant shortage, pair-trawling, light fishing amongst others as some of their concerns which they said “were killing the industry”.

Chairman of Nyanyano Canoe Owners and Fishermen Association, Frankie Otoo said, “Outboard motors used to cost GH¢2,480 by the time the NPP was leaving office in 2008. Today, outboard motors cost GH¢7,200 and even that we can’t get it to buy.”

Chief Fisherman, Nana Kwasi Awotwe said, “Aside the outboard motors, the prices of all other fishing equipment and inputs have risen to killer levels and it is collapsing the industry and affecting our livelihoods.

“We can’t pay our children’s school fees, we can’t afford healthcare nor put food on the table for our families and that is because our business is dying.”

They assured the NPP leader of their support in the upcoming election “so that you can bring back our ministry and also provide our children with free education”.

Prayers In Church

Nana Akufo-Addo began his ‘tour to restore hope’ with prayers at the Saviour Church of Ghana in Nyanyano.

In a similar fashion, Nana Akufo-Addo last year, began his ‘Listening Tour’ with a church service at the Christ Apostolic Preachers Church in Akwasiho, in the Eastern Region, to seek God’s protection and favour.

In a brief remark, Head Pastor Elias Asante expressed joy and satisfaction that the NPP leader decided to begin his tour with prayers.

He said, “I am particularly also happy that Nana chose our church to come and pray to God for his mercies and protection.”

Pastor Asante noted that “I am confident that with the right leadership, ordained by God Almighty, good things will happen to our beloved country.”

He noted, “Often when a leader has a strong vision, and backs it with a lot of courage and confidence, people tend to call him arrogant, when that is not the case”, appealing to Nana Addo to remain focused and not be distracted by such comments.

He prayed for God to protect the NPP leader and grant him travelling mercies as he went around the country with his message of hope.

On his part, the NPP flagbearer thanked the leadership of the church and members for the warm reception showed him.

He explained, “I am starting my ‘tour to restore hope’ after a successful ‘listening tour’ of the country and as I did with the ‘listening tour’ on the first day, I have come to the house of the Lord to seek his favour and grace.”

He made a humble appeal to the leadership and members of the church to “pray for peaceful elections, for the stability and unity of our country to remain intact before, during and after the 2012 elections and for God to touch the hearts of those in charge of the elections, that they will conduct the elections in a free and fair manner to allow winners and losers to readily accept the outcome of the elections as the will of the people.”

He also asked for special prayers from the church for himself as he led the NPP to win the votes of the majority of the Ghanaian people.

He said, “As you pray, I will humbly ask you to also say a prayer for your son, me, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, that God will continue to give me wisdom, courage and confidence to be able to do the work if God willing and the Ghanaian people so consenting I win the elections and become president.”

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