The Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has urged traditional authorities and district assemblies in the Northern regions to establish land banks to attract investors.
He noted that the three Northern regions were lacking behind in industrial and agricultural development, notwithstanding the availability of fertile lands and mineral deposits and other natural resources.
Dr. Bawumia was delivering a paper on: "The Role of the Corporate Sector in the Development of Northern Ghana", at an awards ceremony organized by the National Northern Students Union (NNSU) in Tamale.
The Deputy Governor received the award of the "Northern Personality of the year", for his inspiring leadership and being a role model for the youth in three Northern regions.
Dr. Bawumia said that the three Northern regions needed to establish land banks for commercial farming, since there was relatively little dispute about land ownership in the area.
He said there were a lot of tourism potentials in the area such as historical, cultural and archaeological sites, which if developed, could attract local and international tourists.
Dr. Bawumia observed that in spite of the enormous benefits that could be derived from the financial sector, there had not been any remarkable role of the sector in the three Northern regions.
He said for instance as at the end of 2005, out of a total of 335 commercial Bank branches in the country, only 24 representing 7.16 per cent were located in the three Northern regions.
He said: "At the same time and perhaps ironically, only 12 out of the total of 122 rural banks representing 9.8 per cent were located in the area."
Mr. John K. Hobenu, Northern Regional Director of Education said although there had been a lot of investments in educational infrastructure, the three Northern regions still lacked adequate number of teachers and pupil enrolment was also low.
Mr. Adam Samed, National President of NNSU, observed that ethnic conflicts and dirty politics had made the Northern part of Ghana underdeveloped, and urged the upcoming generation to eschew such tendencies and rather unite towards the develop of the area.