The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has stated that the government is strengthening the Ghana Police Service and the Ghana Immigration Service to help fight cross-border crimes such as smuggling of fertiliser.
He said strengthening both services was the surest way to stop the smuggling of fertiliser and other goods out of the country.
The President, who was speaking on Jewel FM in Duayaw Nkwanta, as part of his tour of the Bono Region, explained that the amount invested in the fertiliser subsidy policy was done with state resources and needed to be protected by Ghanaians.
The country is pursuing a fertiliser and inputs subsidy policy to support farmers under the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) initiative.
The programme, which has seen an increase in enrolment of farmers across the country, has recently suffered a setback following the smuggling of fertilisers across borders.
Due to the menace, though the government owes fertiliser suppliers more the $400 million, reports from some parts of the country indicate that there is a shortage of the product.
As part of efforts to strengthen the services, he said, the police were in the process of recruiting and training 4,000 men and women to beef up the service.
During a visit to Yamfo in the Tano North Municipality, President Akufo-Addo, in response to an appeal by the Omanhene of Yamfo, Nana Ansah Adu-Baah II, to deploy more police personnel in the area to reduce crime and protect lives and property, said the motive for the police recruitment exercise was aimed at increasing police visibility in communities.
He, therefore, assured the chief and people of Yamfo that the government was committed to beefing up security in the community as the area would host the Newmont Ahafo Mine, which should be protected.
“The request for security presence in the community, enhancement of Yamfo Market, establishment of the Ahafo Regional office of the Forestry Commission at Yamfo are good calls,” the President said during a call on Nana Ansah Adu-Baah II in his palace at Yamfo.
President Akufo-Addo called on investors in the area to partner the government to establish more factories to process raw materials and create employment for the teeming youth.
The President also called on the public to continue to observe the COVID-19 protocol.
He said the country’s early response to the COVID-19 pandemic had helped to save lives.
The President later inaugurated an administration block at the Yamfo College of Health, funded by the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund).
For his part, the Omanhene described President Akufo-Addo as a gift to the country.
“As for me, I can see that it was God who appointed President Akufo-Addo for this nation and let us continue to pray for him,” he stated.
Nana Adu-Baah said his leadership style was unique, considering measures put in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
He encouraged the President to continue to fight illegal mining and illicit chainsaw operations because the practice was causing a lot of havoc in the country.
Nana Adu-Baah also appealed to the President to spearhead the rehabilitation of inner roads in Yamfo to facilitate movement.
He also called on the government to construct an additional dormitory at the Yamfo College of Health to enable the school to admit more students.
At Bechem, the Omanhene of the Bechem Traditional Area, Nana Fosu Gyeabour Akoto, appealed to the President to consider upgrading the Bechem Government Hospital to the Tano South Municipal Hospital to serve the growing population better.
He also appealed for the rehabilitation of the Bechem town roads as well as the construction of a befitting football pitch for the youth.
Responding to the appeals, President Akufo-Addo pledged to work hard to address the issues raised by the Omanhene.