Member of Parliament (MP) for Shama constituency in the Western Region, Hon Ato Panford, has unveiled his vision for Shama development and promised to make the constituency an economic hub in the region.
Speaking in an interview with THE REPUBLIC , the Shama lawmaker identified four pillars upon which he would prosecute his accelerated development agenda, namely, industrialization, education, health and roads infrastructure.
Hon Panford said, he was in a fixed position to industrialise the constituency and would therefore not spare any good opportunity under the administration of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to achieve his objective.
Besides, turning the Constituency into an industrial hub as well as empowering women economically, he admitted that engaging the youth into productive ventures would be another top priority to reduce youth unemployment in the constituency.
“My key agenda is to industrialize Shama. Already about four industries or factories including Ceramic factory recently commissioned by the President, Glass factory, Fishing net factory and an industrial park, are in the process to be commenced.”
“In addition to that, I must say that, I have passion for the people I represented, especially the vulnerable, children and women, that is to say gender and disability would receive equal attention. the aim also is to unlock the talents of our youth, creating jobs and reducing unemployment in Shama, ” Mr Panford stated.
He expressed expressed commitment to the strategic plans and said his plans for development of Shama was to build on the foundation laid by his predecessors and improve further, stating, “Coming into politics as an industrialist was not to be serve but to serve my people and give them hope for the future.”
Shama is one of the fast developing district, economic activities thrives because of its central location in terms of major infrastructure, gas, and electricity.
Again, Mr Panford promised to tackle education, health and roads seriously, pointing that the only senior high school, thus Shama senior high would receive attention as well as the Shama polyclinic, roads and drains.
Recounting his electoral victory to parliament for the first time, the Industrialist who served on the parliamentary sub committee of Trade and Industries said, his victory in the last general election remained a remarkable thing in the constituency.
At the December 7, 2016 polls he won with 20,165 representing 53.52 per cent of total votes cast to dislodged the then incumbent MP, Gabriel Kodwo Essilfie of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) who managed to gained 15,190 representing 40.32 per cent.
While admitting that the parliamentary seat is a swing seat between the NPP and the NDC, Mr Panford said, he is working hard to ensure that NPP retain the seat in subsequent elections, arguing that the level of development he intend bringing to Shama would be the trump card for that ambition.
On a personal note, the soft spoken politician said he has been helping the constituents long before he entered into parliament and would not intend departing from that path, adding that, “I think it was out of my personal relation and what I have done long before entering into the parliamentary race that made me to win the election handsomely. It is the first time in history between NPP and NDC that someone won with overwhelming margin of thousand votes.”
Asked if he had learn anything new in parliament as first time Legislator, Mr Panford said, he did not find it difficult in following parliamentary procedures before he had on numerous time read the 1992 constitution, parliamentary rules and was therefore conversant with some of the procedures.
He however reassured that the Akufo Addo led NPP administration, which promised to enhance the economic well-being of the people by creating thousands of jobs, through one district one factory is on course and charged the youths to avail themselves for the opportunities to get employment through agriculture and other enterprises.
Mr Panford added that as an Industrialist, he would continue to encourage his government to invest in capacity building so that the people could acquire requisite skills that would make them be productive and self-reliant.
“Our focus is to give the people the requisite skills. About 65% of our population is under the age of 30 years, so we need to empower them with the right knowledge so that they can be useful to themselves and the society”, he stated.
He further affirmed his determination to make the difference and called on his constituent to continue to offer him support and the government so that the development enjoyed in other parts of the world could be replicated in the country.
He also assured the people of Shama to expect a very useful work from him in parliament as his contributions would continue to be of a high caliber.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/Felix Engsalige Nyaaba