Mr. Mark Woyongo, Upper East Regional Minister, on Monday outlined his vision for the Region, saying that, the promotion of peace, unity and development would take centre stage.
He, therefore, called for punctuality, hard work and dedication to duty on the part of staff of the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) in particular, since it was only with their cooperation that his development agenda for the Region could come to fruition.
"The task of restoring lasting peace in the Region's hotspots, as well as the bridging of the development gap between the Upper East and other regions in the southern part of the country, calls for the cooperation of all," he said.
The Regional Minister was speaking at his maiden meeting with workers from the RCC, the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), and National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) in Bolgatanga.
He indicated that the Region had abundant natural resources, citing granite in the Tongo area, clay deposits in the Bongo district, gold in Nangodi, and vast amounts of sheanuts, which he described as the cocoa of the North. "But we have been condemned to a life of poverty in the midst of plenty because little attention was given to the tapping of these resources by successive governments."
Mr. Woyongo said the ruling government had decided to make a departure from the past by establishing the Savanna Agricultural Development Authority and the Sheanut Development Board as part of strategies to reduce poverty in the three Northern regions.
He announced that as part of plans towards the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the creation of the Region, he would create a website to market the area's resources to the international community. This, with the view to wooing foreign investors to create jobs in the region, and retaining the youth at home rather than having them running down south to engage in menial jobs.
The Regional Minister cautioned workers against any involvement in partisan politics. He said although they were entitled to their own political choices, they should ensure it did not interfere with the discharge of their official duties. "No matter your political affiliation, you must always realize that as a civil servant, your primary duty is to serve the government of the day," he emphasized.
He urged the staff to observe the basic rules of environmental cleanliness at their places of work and to take good care of government property. He also charged drivers at the RCC to ensure the regular maintenance of the vehicles entrusted in their care and to refrain from consuming alcohol while on duty.
With the Regional Minister at the meeting was Mr. Samuel N'lary, Chief Director at the RCC, Mr. Sheriff Billey and Mr. Gilbert Nur-Teg, both Deputy Directors at the RCC.