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The Coastal Development Authority (CDA), an idea conceived by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, will ensure that the living standards of the ordinary fisherman improves drastically, Nana Joojo Solomon, a former Chief Fisherman at the Elmina Landing Beach, has said.
The CDA – together with the Northern Development Authority and Middle Belt Development Authority – was touted by the NPP during its campaign for the 2016 polls as a body that will oversee the administration of the country’s coastal regions under the Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP), which promises $1million to each constituency in the country for developmental projects.
According to him, the CDA is a brilliant idea that will keep all the three million fishermen in the coastal areas in the country in business.
Speaking in an interview with Chief Jerry Forson, host of Ghana Yensom, on Accra100.5FM on Tuesday January 10, Mr Solomon said: “You can’t kill the fishing industry, because it is very beneficial to the Ghanaian economy. The difference between the fishing industry and the oil and mining sectors is that fish are a renewable natural resource but the others deplete. Over a period of time, let’s say after 20 years, we may not be able to drill oil again or mine gold and diamond, however in the fishing sector, since the days of Jesus Christ, fish have continued to be in the sea and they will continue to be in it. That has allowed the fishing business to go on and so you cannot for any reason under the sun sacrifice the sea for gold, diamond, oil and gas.”
He added: “The sea accounts for 4.5 per cent of Ghana’s GDP, the same as oil, while the fishermen constitute 10 per cent of the total population – we are about 3 million – and so if these people are fishing they provide relief to the government. They also provide food security. When there is food security, there is also national security and job security.
“So which government in his wisdom will want to collapse this industry? Are you ready to create 3 million jobs?”
He added: “Nana Addo was the brain behind the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) but some people could not implement it properly. Just like SADA, the Coastal Development Authority will help the fishermen. It will not be an avenue for corruption. Nana Addo has said over and over that if you want to make money, go into the private sector, rather than take up an appointment in his government. This is reassuring and nobody in his right sense will dare him on this. The CDA is one of his brilliant ideas and so we will embrace it firmly and the living standard of the ordinary fisherman would be improved. Fishermen have suffered a lot.”