Support fight against terrorism — Oppong Nkrumah

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The people have been urged to support the government in the fight against terrorism and piracy in the country by reporting suspicious activities and persons to the security agencies.

This follows an upsurge in terrorist and piracy attacks in the West Africa sub-region such as neighbouring Burkina Faso and Cote d’Ivoire.

“In the past few months, nations that share border with Ghana, such as Burkina Faso and Cote d’Ivoire, have experienced series of terrorist attacks with the recent one being on June 5, 2021 where about 160 people were killed in Yagha Province in Burkina Faso bordering Niger,” the Minister of Information, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, said.

At a press briefing in Accra yesterday, he described the growing terrorism and piracy situation  in the sub-region as worrying, and said the issue attracted much of the attention of Cabinet at the weekend when the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, met with senior government officials.

The minister was giving an update of issues arising from the three-day Cabinet retreat, which included the country’s macroeconomic model and the medium-term development plan for 2022-2025.

Assurance

Mr Oppong Nkrumah, however, gave an assurance that the government had put adequate measures in place to protect the country from the risk of terrorist attack and piracy.

“The Akufo-Addo administration has in the last four years worked hard by putting in place measures to ensure our borders are safe from these attacks. Nonetheless, there is the need to do more and we want to assure the Ghanaian public that we will tighten measures to ensure the safety of the people,” he added.

The minister said based on intelligence of potential terrorist activities in the country, the government had beefed up security at border regions, particularly in the northern part of the country.

“There is new evidence that Ghanaians, or at least a Ghanaian, has been recruited by some terrorist groups to participate in their activities, and this is worrying because if you follow the activities of these people, you will realise that once they recruit people from a country, they get the opportunity to penetrate into that country,” he added.

On the performance of the government in the first half of the year, Mr Oppong-Nkrumah said the economy grew at 3.1 per cent in the first quarter of the year and that it had been showing signs of resuscitation after the negative impact of COVID-19.

For the second quarter, he said the Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, would provide an update on it in the coming days.

Responding to a question on the delay in appointment of metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives (MMDCEs), the minister said the President would soon make the appointments.

Medium-term plan

The Director-General of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), Dr Kodjo Esseim Mensah-Abrampah, said the country’s medium-term plan for the next four years; 2022 – 2025, would focus on revitalising the economy from COVID-19 losses.

It would also include the building of social infrastructure and human capital development to unearth the potential of the country’s youthful population for growth.

In the infrastructure sector, Dr Mensah-Abrampah said the attention would be on roads, railway, ports, as well as the information communication and technology (ICT) sectors.

He mentioned other areas of interest to include digitisation, pharmaceuticals, housing and job creation.

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