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General News of Wednesday, 8 January 2003

Source: GNA

Government to set up committee on chieftaincy

Government would soon set up a seven-member committee to look into chieftaincy conflicts and their causes and to advise it accordingly.

The committee will not interfere in the installation, removal or administration of the chieftaincy institution as enshrined in the constitution, President John Kufour said in Accra on Tuesday at the People's Assembly, held on the theme: "consolidating Ghana's democracy through peace, unity and development"

The People's Assembly was initiated by the Kufuor's administration a year ago to create a platform for people to interact with the executive on national matters as part of the celebration of one decade of the fourth republic and two years of "positive change".

President Kufuor, flanked by his Vice, Alhaji Aliu Mahama and a number of Ministers, said government was concerned about the numerous chieftaincy troubles in the country and much as Government would not interfere in chieftaincy affairs, it would maintain law and order in all spheres of national life.

President Kufuor, himself is a professional lawyer, promised to take up a personal interest in the development of infrastructure at the Ghana School of Law. In reaction to a question from Kofi Baafi Sampson, a representative of the Carpenters Association, to the lack of adequate timber resources on the local market for the furniture industry, Prof. Kassim Kasanga, Minister of Forestry said government had to ensure a competitive bidding to prevent the exploitation of the country's forest resources at give-away prices.

Prof Kasanga warned against the fast depletion of the nation's forest resources, and regretted that they were rather being given out without benefiting the people, and said there was a need to revamp the policy on timber

Mrs. Cecilia Bannerman, Minister of Employment and Manpower Development said 1,500 street girls were retrieved from Agbogbloshi Market in Accra to their hometowns two weeks ago.

She said the Ministry was engaged in a number of skill development programmes for the development and rehabilitation of the youth on the street to make them employable.