The Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA) has presented outboard motors to some fishermen at Tema Newtown as part of government’s effort to promote fishing activities within the Metropolis.
The donation, which was a collaborative effort of the TMA, the Ministry Fisheries and Aquaculture and the Greater Accra Regional Minister, is to help ease pressure on fishermen who find it difficult to singlehandedly acquire their own motors.
Making the presentation to the chief fishermen, the Greater Accra Regional Minister, Mr. Ishmael Ashitey, observed the role the previous government played in initiating this policy, but informed that they failed to complete the process before leaving office.
He added that, ‘The beneficiaries were to pay 60% and the government pay 40%. Unfortunately the government wasn’t able to pay the 40% before leaving office.’
He hinted that there were people who were not fishermen who had found their names in the list, ‘And I’ve directed the mayor to make sure the outboard motors go to fishermen.’
‘We don’t want people making profit out of government subsidies. The motors should go to fishermen, people who own canoes, and they should refund monies to those who want it as a form of business,’ he said.
The Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE) of Tema, Mr. Felix Mensah Nii Annan-La, in an address, observed that the TMA considered the intervention as ‘our contribution to boosting the local economy, and by extension enhancing the protein needs of our people.’
He informed that the Tema Fishing Harbour lands over 4,000 metric tonnes of fish annually, and these include catches from the artisanal canoe fishermen, observing that, ‘By this statistics, it’s clear that Tema is a power house when it comes to providing fish to the rest of the country.’
The MCE said the Assembly would soon ‘roll out series of training programmes for our fishermen and fish-mongers on book-keeping and other managerial skills to improve on their financial management.’
One of the chief fishermen, Nii Odamety, thanked government for the offer and observed that the fisher folk were finding it difficult to land fishes because the foreign vessels were too many, and therefore called on government to help reshape the industry.
The government presented 72 outboard motors to fishermen who had earlier paid their share of the required 60 per cent.