The Central Regional Minister, Nana Ato Arthur last Tuesday called on chiefs in the region to help mobilise and ensure that qualified, dedicated and competent people who would articulate the aspirations of their people, were elected in the forthcoming district level elections.
He said, that would enable communities to benefit greatly from the decentralisation process and underscored the important role chiefs play in the socio-economic development of the nation.
Nana Arthur, who made the call at a meeting with members of the Central Regional House of chiefs in Cape Coast in the Central Region, said chiefs have been at the forefront in the provision of social services, such as education endowment funds, schools and health facilities to enhance the living standards of the people.
He assured them that government would continue to partner with them to help reduce the poverty levels among the people and called for collaboration between District Chief Executives and Traditional Authorities.
He urged them to ensure that the objectives for the provision of the Millennium Challenge Account programme, which was being implemented in two districts in the region were achieved.
Nana Arthur, in this regard called on the House to endeavour to resolve the more than 40 chieftaincy and land disputes which he said, were hampering development in some communities. The Regional Minister therefore, suggested the formation of a five-member committee of eminent citizens in the region to help resolve the disputes.
He said it was his desire to ensure the revival of at least, one of the abandoned industries in the region to create more jobs for the youth and called for concerted efforts from the chiefs.
On sanitation, he noted that it was no longer an urban problem but also affected rural communities and appealed to the chiefs to liaise with their respective district assemblies to ensure a clean and health environment.
Nana Kwamina Ansah IV, President of the House, in his welcoming address congratulated Nana Arthur for his elevation as Regional Minister and pledged their support for his administration. He also commended the government for appointing a Minister of Chieftaincy and Culture and said it would bring the government and the chieftaincy institution together.
Nana Ansah however expressed concern that development in the rural areas had slowed down and attributed the situation to the fact that the assemblies have failed to involve chiefs in decision-making.
He called on the Minister to ensure that District Assemblies in the region began to take care of Traditional Authorities by paying them the needed royalties.
Mr Justice Lamptey, member of the Commission on Chieftaincy Affairs, announced that lawyers were being appointed to assist the work of the various Houses of Chiefs nationwide and called on the House to make inputs to the new chieftaincy bill.
Mr Lamptey also urged them to get involved in the activities of the Regional Co-ordinating Council and District Assemblies.