By Rite news desk:
District Chief Executive for the Asugyaman District in the Eastern region, Mr. Samuel Kwame Agyekum has barely been in office for a month but he already has his eyes set on monumental accomplishments at the end of his tenure. That was the vision he announced when asked what legacies he would want to be remembered for after his term – be in a day, a month, a year or however long or short he remains as the man in the driving seat of the Asuogyaman district assembly.
‘I want to be remembered as the man who provided lots of jobs for the people of Asuogyaman…I want to be remembered as the man under whose tenure the results of the Basic Education Certificate Examination and West African Secondary School Certificate Examination rose so high that we have almost one hundred percent pass…I want to be remembered for the provision of so much infrastructure in this district,’ he pledged.
He was confident of the total support of the people whose welfare he has been charged to oversee and prayed for their continuous support for the common good of his people. For the politicians, he has just one message for them; stay off for now especially as the elections are now over.
The Asuogyaman district assembly sits on a particularly hilly, dreary dead-end road on the outskirts of Afabeng near Atimpoku and overlooking the Volta Lake. Mr. Samuel Kwame Agyekum’s office sits on the second floor of a two-a storey building in the middle of the assembly.
He revealed it all concerning how he found himself in the big chair as District Chief Executive of Asuogyaman. Interestingly enough, his one time ambition was to serve his people in a different capacity; Member of Parliament. That was however not to be as he lost out in the primaries in 2012. That letdown however did not shatter his political goals.
From humble beginnings, Mr. Agyekum grew up in a little community called Jekiti in the Akwamu traditional area of the Asuogyaman district before moving to Senchi in the same district. He then sojourned to the national capital Accra after his form four education to seek greener pastures. After working for sometime, he enrolled at the Accra Polytechnic where he studied accounting.
‘I went to Accra to seek for greener pastures where I have the opportunity to further my education at the Accra Polytechnic where I read accounting and studied Institute of Chartered Accountants Ghana – so I am an accountant by profession,” he revealed.
The accountant by profession initially had no intentions of getting himself involved in full time politics. On how he became a politician, Mr. Samuel Agyekum said he had long been a devotee of the NPP tradition until 2012 when he was officially invited to join the party.
“I did not really dream of becoming a full time politician as I am doing now. But what happened is that I have been supporting the Danquah – Busia Foundation since I was twenty-two (22) years and so when the New Patriotic Party (NPP) came to office in 1992, I registered and became a member but I was on the fringes. I was not at the front line participating until 2012 when I was invited by a group called PATRIOTIC VOLUNTEERS which had in its midst notable personalities like current minister of health, Dr. Nsiah Asare and the Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE) for Kumasi. I was pushed to the front line and it was suggested to me to contest for the parliamentary primaries at Asougyaman which I did but lost to the successful candidate. Before then however, I was supporting the party in cash and kind at national and local level,’ he added.
Mr. Samuel Agyekum was one of thirteen (13) applicants who applied for the position of DCE for the Asuogyaman district. He successfully soared through the vetting process before receiving an overwhelming 90.33 percent endorsement from the assembly members to assume the position.
So does he still harbor dreams of representing his constituents in parliament? ‘At the moment I’m okay with my position as DCE and I no longer harbor any intentions of becoming the Member of Parliament,’ he believed.
For now, his government’s flagship programme ‘one district, one factory’ remains one of his key focuses and he intends to make the best out of it for the betterment of his people. He hinted at the intentions of the government to revamp the ailing Akosombo Textiles Limited. According to him, the exercise should restore the factory to its glory days and provide the much needed employment opportunities for young people in the Asuogyaman district.
‘The Asuogyaman district is going to participate fully in the one district one factory initiative so that more jobs can be created especially for the youth. We are very lucky to have the Akosombo Textiles Limited (ATL) and so we are going to invest seriously in the factory by upgrading it from its current status since a vibrant ATL can employ a lot of youth. ‘Mr. Agyekum emphasized.
Aside the Akosombo textiles however, the district is also eyeing the possibility of creating other opportunities for its farmers by creating market avenues for their crops. He hoped that this would encourage farmers to increase their yield through increased cultivation and find more yield and markets for them.
Today, he faces an arduous task of restructuring the Asuogyaman district in order to fix its infrastructural deficits. According to the DCE, the district is facing some challenges which need to be tackled: ‘Almost all our vehicles for various operations have broken down, many of our offices also need to be refurbished. We also have problems with furniture and infrastructure which need to be tackled. Some of our buildings need to be renovated for effective and efficient administration services,’ he asserted.
All these challenges are meanwhile dependent on the assemblies’ common fund and Internally Generated Funds.
The focus of Mr. Agyekum’s administration would hinge on revenue generation which means that more avenues for revenue collection would be created in order to increase the Internally Generated Funds (IGF) to support the common fund that comes externally.
The district’s status as a producer of maize and cassava puts it in a strategic position for the government’s planting for food and jobs initiative. The expectation therefore is that the district assembly would push and invest in the production of these produce of the Asuogyman district where available markets would be created for them.
In order to achieve this, the Asuogyaman district assembly has distributed some inputs to its agric department to be distributed to farmers in order to drive the project.
‘The government’s planting for food and jobs policy is a special project from the ministry of Agric and so instead of giving the Agric Directors money to pilot the program, they were rather given inputs like fertilizers, improved seeds among others. The main rationale behind the agenda is to provide more jobs for the people and so we are going towards that as a district by investing into the programme so that we can achieve our objectives as a government” he stated.
To the youth in his district, he has just one message for them – hard work. He encouraged them to work very assiduously especially investing their the energy and resources into education so that they can become responsible citizens and role models in the future in order to contribute to their lives, society and the nation as a whole rather than wasting their time and energy in activities that would not help them in the future.
Irrespective of your political coloration, Mr. Samuel Agyekum is calling on all and sundry to support the government achieve its goals irrespective of one’s political affiliation so that more jobs can be created.