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General News of Friday, 2 July 2010

Source: GNA

Government to expand LEAP Programme

Tamale, July 2, GNA - Government is to expand the coverage of the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme to enable more people including senior citizens to benefit from the unconditional grant of GH¢8.0 to 15 per month.

More districts would therefore be added to the 76 districts nation-wide, which are already covered by the programme. Mr Moses Bukari Mabengba, Northern Regional Minister, announced this at a luncheon held in honour of senior citizens in the Northern Region in Tamale on Thursday to mark this year's Republic Day.

He said 200 people from 13 districts in the region were currently benefiting from the package adding that Government was also committed to the passage of the National Social Welfare Draft Bill into law to ensure adequate protection for the aged and the vulnerable in society. In addition, the Regional Minister said the implementation of the ne w pension reforms and the restructuring of the Social Security Insurance Tr ust (SSNIT) Pension Scheme where all efforts geared at enhancing the retireme nt benefits for people, who had contributed their quota, to the country's growth and development.

Mr Mabengba called on the senior citizens to share their experience and wise counsel on pertinent issues affecting the development of the country

with government while also inculcating in the youth positive attributes s uch as discipline and patriotism.

He further appealed to the senior citizens to participate fully in t he on-going constitutional review process. "You have seen it all as far as the existence of different constitutions in this country is concerned. You should therefore make available your opinions and suggestions if any, on sections of our curren t constitution to the Committee for consideration. "This way, we shall be helping to build a stronger democracy and prosperity for our children", Mr Mabengba said. The senior citizens at the luncheon were later presented certificate s and some gifts in appreciation to their contributions to the development of Ghana and the Northern Region in particular. 2 July 10