NPP Eyes Western Region for More Activities
THE NEW Patriotic Party, which chalked a huge gain in the Western Region in the year 2000 elections by adding five more constituencies to the three they had held since 1996, seems to have developed a special interest in the region, judging from the numerous national programmes the government is pushing to the regional capital, Takoradi.
After successfully hosting the national best teacher award in October, the region has been billed to host three more national programmes. They are the national farmer's day, which would take place at the Takoradi Polytechnic Park on the main Takoradi-Sekondi road.
The National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFAC) and the NPP national delegates congress at which President Kufuor would officially be endorsed as the ruling party's candidate for the 2004 elections.
Considering the way and manner the region had been neglected over the years, especially its road network, many people see the shifting of these national programmes to the region as a positive sign that the ruling government would focus its attention on the region in order to have its problems addressed.
When Chronicle contacted the regional minister, Hon. Joseph Boahen Aidoo, for his comment on these laudable programmes, he had this to say, "In fact I am overwhelmed, and I don't even know the reason why they chose this region for all these national programmes."
To him this is a blessing in disguise for the people of the region because it would afford them the opportunity to interact with the President and also put their problems across. "You know it is not easy to always travel to the Castle to meet the President but with his coming, the people can meet and interact with him," he added.
Apart from this, Hon. Aidoo said media attention would be focused on the region and this would help to expose it to the outside world and also help it to attract foreign investors since a lot of dignitaries would be attending almost all the programmes lined up.
Already feverish preparations are going on to put the Takoradi Polytechnic park which would be hosting the farmers' day and a big political rally to climax the NPP national delegates congress, which is expected to take place either on the 14th or 28th of next month, in proper shape.
The big question is whether Sekondi-Takoradi has the facilities to host dignitaries who would be attending these programmes, especially the national delegates congress which thousands of people are expected to attend.
When the regional director of the Ghana Tourist Board, Mr. Oti Awere, was contacted on the accommodation situation, he said Sekondi-Takoradi has some intentionally rated hotels but it certainly cannot accommodate more than 878 people at a time.
He said the three-star rated hotels have a total room capacity of 50 with 66 beds. The two-star rated ones have a total of 210 rooms with 282 beds. The budget hotels, which are the non-rated ones, also have 281 rooms with 385 beds.
"This means that Sekondi-Takoradi at the moment has a total of 672 hotel rooms. Out of this figure, 391 are supplied by the star-rated ones. The total bed capacity for both rated and the non-rated ones are 878 beds," he said.
This statistics would definitely serve as a guidance for the organisers of the NPP national delegates' congress to know the number of people that can be accommodated in the hotels, since it is being rumoured that more than 3000 people would attending the congress.