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General News of Thursday, 14 January 1999

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Ministers answer questions at forum

Accra, (Greater Accra) 14 Jan. '99,

Mr Isaac Adjei-Mensah, Minister of Works and Housing, said yesterday that one of six firms short-listed to dredge the Korle Lagoon in Accra to check pollution will begin work this year. Mr Adjei-Mensah was responding to a question from the floor at the sixth forum of Parliament held at the National Theatre on the theme: "Parliament on the threshold of the 21st century". Other ministers who answered questions were Mr Kwame Peprah, Minister of Finance, Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas, a deputy Minister of Education, and Alhaji Muhammad Mumuni, Minister of Employment and Social Welfare. Mr Peprah said there would be no reversal on pension operations, adding that those who have earned the right to enjoy the pension scheme known as "Cap 30" would not be denied their right. He said the ministry is working out modalities for a unified pension for all categories of workers under the Social Security scheme which would be more attractive to beneficiaries. Reacting to the care for the disabled and the disadvantaged, Alhaji Mumuni appealed to the private sector and public-spirited individuals to support the caring of the weak on charitable basis. He said Ghanaians by nature are known to be charitable and that they should translate this charity into real terms by providing funds for the rehabilitation of the disabled. Mr Kwaku Acheampong Bonful, deputy Minister of the Interior, told a questioner who wanted the clergy, the press and the public to preach love for the police to maintain peace and protect life and property, that it was sad that society and even parliament consider development projects more important than their security. He said there was the need to recruit more policemen and provide them with logistics but parliamentarians would prefer good drinking water and schools in their constituencies. Mr Bonful appealed to the public to sympathise with and support the police to provide efficient services. On education, Dr Chambas said the senior secondary school certificate is internationally recognised and some of those holding it have gained admission into universities outside the country. GRi