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Regional News of Sunday, 20 February 2005

Source: GNA

Upper West Minister meets Journalists

Wa, Feb. 20, GNA - Mr Ambrose Dery, the Upper West Regional Minister on Friday called on Journalists to strive to offer constructive criticisms with credible suggestions and alternatives to government policies for the advancement of the nation. A liberal media environment whose input to policies went to serve the larger interests of the society, he noted, underlined the beauty of democracy.

Mr Dery made the call during his maiden meeting with Media Practitioners in the region at Wa.

According to him, the contribution of journalists was vital to the success of democracy and good governance and that informed the New Patriotic Party's government to repeal criminal libel law immediately it assumed power.

He assured them that the government was currently taking steps to get the "right to information and the whistle blower's" bills passed by parliament.

Mr Dery noted that the region abounds in hidden resources, which needed tapping and therefore, urged journalists to expose these potentials so that investors could move into the region. He also called for cooperation from the media practitioners in the region to enable him to spearhead positive chapter two to success in the region.

"I have come as the chief servant of the people in the region and you should support me so that I can leave a monumental legacy which we can all be proud of."

On the deregulation of the petroleum sector, he said the policy was to correct a situation that had the potential to derail the economy and erode all the successes chalked in the last four years.

Touching on corruption, which has become a topical issue in the media, he said allegations of corruption were different from real cases of it and advised journalists to back their reportage of corruption with real evidence of it.