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02.10.2002 General News

Regional Ministers should meet the Press in their regions - Journalists

By gna
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Journalists at the Meet The Press series organized by the Ministry of Information in Accra on Tuesday questioned the rationale behind regional Ministers holding Meet The Press outside their regions.

They said it was important that journalists in the specific regions were in a better position to unravel government plans in their areas and how they were executed to be able to put across "relevant and insightful questions" to the Ministers.

"They are in the regions and they know what and how development projects are going on and would be in the position to know any acts of impropriety if any."

The Meet The Press event featured Mr. Kwesi Owusu-Yeboah, Volta Regional Minister, who indicated that government was very much in touch with the development needs of the people in the region and "issues of health, education, extension of electricity, telecommunication and road construction are receiving due attention."

He noted that he preferred doing things quietly than giving huge publicity to events that did not correspond to situations on the ground. A senior journalist who spoke to the Ghana News Agency said the matter came up for serious discussion several times since no definite reason could be adduced for it.

Explaining, Mr Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, Minister of Information and Presidential Affairs said the decision to move the Ministers to Accra for the regional Meet The Press events was to enable them receive the required publicity they deserved since, according to him, sometimes when such events were held in the regions they were no adequately disseminated throughout the country.

He noted that it did not seek in anyway to play down on the intelligence or competence of journalists in the regions. When the GNA pressed further, the Special Assistant to the Minister of Information, Mr. Ferdinand Ayim said, "the regional ministers will meet the press in their regional capitals later."

Outsiders present at the conference and were mostly citizens of the region working in Accra took turns to ask questions about developments in the region complaining particularly, about condition of roads in the region.

Of paramount concern were the Hohoe-Kete-Krachie road, Ho township roads and the Dambai-Nkwanta roads, which they said were major food growing areas and needed urgent attention.

Giving a summary of data on all projects awarded from 2001 to the second quarter of this year, Mr Owusu-Yeboah said a contract sum of 44.7 billion cedis has been awarded for the re-surfacing, rehabilitation of roads and spot improvement, routine maintenance of office and residential accommodation.

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