The Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, on Thursday singed a loan agreement of about six million Euros with the KBC Bank NV of Belgium for the Elmina Fishing Harbour and the Benya Lagoon Restoration projects.
The amount represents 50 per cent of the total contract sum for the project, which is 12 million Euros and the remaining 50 per cent would come as a soft loan from the Government of the Kingdom of Belgium within the next two weeks.
Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei, Deputy Finance Minister, responsible for budgeting, said the aim of the project was to ensure the dredging of the lagoon and removal of all materials that prevented the free flow of water and smooth passage of fishing vessels into the harbour. He said the successful completion of the two projects would provide safe passage and movement of fishing vessels and enhance fishing, as well as the salt industry in Elmina.
Dr Akoto Osei said the projects would also have a positive effect on the economy, environment and tourism development in the area and further ensure that the status of the lagoon, as well as cultural, social and economic heritage of the local community was saved.
He thanked the government of Belgium and the management of the KBC Bank N.V of Belgium for providing the assistance. Mr Hackman Owusu-Agyeman, Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing urged the contractor of the project to work within the schedule time to prevent any additional cost.
He said the contract period was only 12 months and urged the contractor to produce quality work. Mr Isaac Edumadze, Central Regional Minister, urged the Ministry of Finance to source for additional funding for the actual work on the construction of the fishing harbour. He said upon completion the projects shallow sea fishing would give way to deep-sea fishing, which would create more employment opportunities for the people of the area.