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General News of Tuesday, 23 January 2007

Source: GNA

"50th anniversary should make us reflect on devt"

Ho, Jan. 23, GNA - Major Courage Quashigah (Rtd), Minister of Health, has said Ghana's 50th anniversary should stir citizens to reflect on why countries that attained their independence around the same time had galloped past it in all spheres of development.

He said some of these countries had weaker economic indices at the time but were now giants from which Ghana must learn.

Major Quashigah was addressing the Volta Regional People's Assembly in Ho on Tuesday.

The Minister named some of those countries as Malaysia, Israel and Singapore, which he described as the neatest country in the world. He painted a sombre picture of a country with all that it took to create wealth for its people but where people's creative abilities remained largely latent.

The Minister showed to participants parcels of local recipes and wondered how they could remain in 93the forms left by our forebears, while we seek with glee after same foods packaged from abroad". Major Quashigah said the culture of new regimes denigrating plans of past governments was the bane of the country and implored Ghanaians to allow President John Agyekum Kufuor's vision for the country to merge into whatever national development plans that would emerge in subsequent regimes under whichever political party.

The Minister, who was on his seat before the scheduled time of 0900 hours appealed to Ghanaians to endeavour to respect time always. Mr Kofi Dzamesi, Volta Regional Minister said multi-billion major road construction works including the Ho-Adidome, Ho-Fume and Ho-Nyive had taken off, with all contractors for the jobs on site.

He said the Sogakope-Akatsi component of the Tema-Aflao international highway had also been given to a Chinese firm, adding that works on the Akatsi-Aflao portion and the Worawora-Dambai road were being negotiated for award.

Mr Dzamesi said the policy of the government now was to keep all planned roads in the Ho municipality cleared for use to prevent encroachment.

He said the vigilance of the security network and other interventions had made disputes that threatened the peace at 18 areas in the Region either resolved or dormant.

Mr Dzamesi said investors were now coming in as indicated by the multi-million mango and cassava projects going on in the Region. On concerns raised by a contributor on the continuing destruction of farms by herds of cattle under the care of Fulani herdsmen, the Minister said all efforts were being made to drive them out of the Region.

He said these herdsmen who flouted the country's laws with impunity and harassed people they encountered often obtained clandestine support from local leaders.

Mr Dzamesi said the Volta Regional Coordinating Council (VRCC) was in discussion with district assemblies for bylaws to punish such community leaders who compromised with the herdsmen.

Concerns raised by participants during the open forum included the need to resource libraries with books and policy documents and the need for the Information Services Department (ISD) to increase its liaison with the people so as to get them understand government policies better.

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