Mr Joseph Amenowode, Minister-Nominee for Volta Region, on Friday told the Parliamentary Appointments Committee that he would tackle poverty in the Region through the establishment of small-scale businesses to provide employment for the youth in the area.
He said the youth would be encouraged to undertake grass-cutter farming, beekeeping and agro-processing to improve their living standards.
Mr Amenowode said existing industries such as Juapong Textiles, Aveyime Rice Project and Diamond Cement Factory would be assisted to serve as avenues for employment creation.
He said developing the tourism sector would also be an area of focus if he were given the nod to serve the Region.
Mr Paul Evans Aidoo, Minister-Nominee for Western Region, told the Committee that the Region was well resourced in terms of cocoa, timber and manganese but had had very little in terms of benefiting from the national cake.
He said the Region had to contend with lots of challenges including poor roads; therefore, it was time to pay attention was paid to development of the area.
Mr Aidoo said he would work together with Members of Parliament in the Region, chiefs and other stakeholders to draw up a development plan.
Mr Steven Sumani Nayina, Minister-Nominee for Northern Region, told the Parliamentary Appointments Committee that when given the nod, he would ensure that conflicts in the Region became a thing of the past.
“If I become Regional Minister, I can assure you that conflicts in the Region will become a thing of the past,” he said.
Mr Nayina noted that much progress had already been made towards peace in the Yendi conflict, saying he would build on the progress made to bring a lasting solution.
He said in addition to the role being played by the Committee of Eminent Chiefs led by Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, to ensure peace in the Dagbon Traditional Area, the Judicial Committee of the Northern Region House of Chiefs would also be resourced to work effectively towards ensuring lasting peace.
Touching on the problem of “Kayayie” (women porters) in Accra, most of who migrated from the Region, he said the problem was due to lack of opportunities for education and employment even though the youth in the Region were hard working.
“Ninety per cent of the women porters are illiterate and the remaining 10 per cent are either school drop-outs or people from poor homes,” he said.
Mr Nayina noted that in addition to poverty and illiteracy, were the problems of lack of opportunities due to lack of investors, access roads and high production cost.
He pledged to provide the youth with tools and small loans to create employment opportunities for them in farming and also improve infrastructure to attract investors to the area.
On the infrastructure, Mr Nayina said particular attention would be paid to opening up the eastern corridor with a link road from Bawku in Upper East Region through the Northern Region and Volta Region to Accra.
Mr Nayina supported the idea that the Northern Region should be partitioned for development purposes.
Asked what plans he had to deal with floods and disasters in the Region, he said “I will pray against the floods, but we still need the rain for our harvest”.