Kumasi — THE CENTRAL government injected a total of GHÂÂ¢120 million into the provision of 267 infrastructural projects in the area of health in Ashanti region from 2009 to 2012.
The government also spent about GHÂÂ¢50 million to provide 851 projects in the educational sector in the region.
The Ashanti regional Minister, Dr. Kwaku Agyemang-Mensah who disclosed this at a press soiree on Wednesday also announced that GHÂÂ¢35 million had also been spent to improve other socio-economic infrastructure like water, sanitation, electricity and market developments.
According to the Regional Minister, GHÂÂ¢187,597,033.22 was spent to finance eight major Urban Road projects, including the construction of a foot bridge under the Asafo Interchange, the construction of the Sunyani Road and the maintenance of various roads in the Kumasi metropolis.
Dr. Agyemang-Mensah also indicated that GHÂÂ¢45,253,481.27 was expended by the Ghana Highway Authority (GHA) on some major roads in the Ashanti region. The Regional Minister noted that this massive investment by the government in the lives of the people explained votes by the ruling government in the last general elections in December 2012.
Dr. Agyemang-Mensah called on Ghanaians to come together and help build the country, now that the elections are over. He urged journalists to be part of the national forward march process by abiding by the ethics of the profession and report on issues that unite the country rather than those that will create anxiety and feuds among the people.
The Minister assured the media practitioners that his administration was working to ensure that a building is allocated to the local Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) to serve as press Centre.
In a related development A 7-MEMBER Committee of enquiry, headed by the Kumasi Metro Fire Officer has been set up to investigate the causes of last Sunday's fire outbreak at the Kumasi Central Market.
The Committee, according to the Public Relations Officer of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA), Mr. Godwin Okumah Nyame, would thereafter submit its report for the necessary action to be taken.
The appointment of the Committee followed the visit to the Central Market by Hon. Dr. Kwaku Agyemang-Mensah, the Ashanti Regional Minister, and Hon. Samuel Sarpong, the Metropolitan Chief Executive of KMA last Monday.
Mr. Nyame, in a statement indicated that as part of interim measures to ensure that the traders who were affected continued their business activities, the KMA is putting in place plans to ensure that the shops that were burnt down are reconstructed for temporary use since plans are far advanced to reconstruct the Kumasi Central market.
He disclosed that the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning have already endorsed a proposal by the KMA to look for an investor to reconstruct the Central Market following which a Brazilian company expressed interest to reconstruct the market.
As a result, a Brazilian delegation, led by the Brazilian Ambassador visited Kumasi Central Market last year and held meetings with some stakeholders including Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Asantehene for the purposes of reconstructing the market.
It was further indicated that the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning are still in touch with the Brazilian company to finalize all arrangements for the reconstruction of the market to start.
The Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly, Mr. Nyame stated, has taken note of the frequent fire outbreaks at the Central Market and therefore wishes to express its sympathy to the traders whose wares and property have been destroyed by the fire and incurred losses.
The Assembly, however, cautioned the traders to avoid all illegal electrical connections as well as handle naked fires with care as we are in the dry season. The KMA expressed its gratitude to the Ghana National Fire Service for their timely intervention which brought the fire under control