Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama yesterday undertook a day's tour of parts of the Greater Accra and Eastern regions where he inspected development projects and interacted with the people.
Vice President Mahama's first stop was at the Odorgonno Secondary School in Accra where he inspected a 26.6 billion-cedi upgrading project that comprise two six-unit classroom blocks, a boys' dormitory and a dining hall.
He expressed concern about the slow pace of work by the contractor, Tass-Kalie Construction, working on the classroom blocks that started in 2003.
Addressing the enthusiastic students who were waving Ghana flags, he said the 64-year old school was being upgraded to the level of any elite educational facility in the country.
Vice President Mahama appealed to the students to capitalise on government's massive capital investments in the school by studying hard to achieve their set objectives. He said the Greater Accra Regional Minister, Sheikh Ibrahim Cudjoe Quaye, was a student of Odorgonno 50 years ago "and you can also become somebody in future if you study hard," he said.
Vice President Mahama also inspected a 24 billion-cedi upgrading project at Dodowa Secondary School that comprises two six-classroom blocks, home science and visual arts blocks, a library, a girls' dormitory and a dining hall. He inspected works on the 181 billion-cedis Pantang/Peduase road.
The dual carriage road that cuts through the Akwapim Hills would be asphalted and provided with streetlights, drains and 10 turning points. It would also be a vital link between Greater Accra and Eastern Regions.
Vice President Mahama expressed concern about the mining of chippings along the Aburi section of the road and called for public education to alert the culprits about the danger their practice pose to motorists and the project. He also paid a brief visit to Peduase Lodge where the rehabilitation works on the Presidential Lodge is expected to be completed in June.
Vice President Mahama also interacted with the chiefs and people of Mampong where the legendary farmer, Tetteh Quarshie, planted the first cocoa seeds he smuggled from Fernando Po in 1879.
He toured the 0.38 hectare cocoa farm of Tetteh Quarshie where the original cocoa seed he planted 127 years ago is still flourishing.
Vice President Mahama said the government had raised the national production level of cocoa from 350,000 metric tonnes to 740,000 metric tonnes. He said within three years Ghana was expecting to harvest one million metric tonnes of the cash crop.
Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, highlighted the relevance of a model cocoa farm established by the government at Obunso, near Mampong, as part of the country's Golden Jubilee Independence Celebrations to rake in one billion cedis to facilitate the National Youth Employment Programme.
He said the project he launched on March 10 would levy one million cedis on any person who plants a seed in the farm to have his or her name ascribed on a signpost to immortalise their memory.
Vice President Mahama, who visited the farm as part of his visit, was the seventh person to have planted the commemorative tree.