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29.08.2004 General News

Make Saltpond oil field operational -Chief

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Saltpond, Aug 29, GNA - Nana Okesse Essandoh VII, the Omanhene of the Nkusukum Traditional Area, has appealed to the government to iron out the issues hindering the exploration of oil from the offshore of Saltpond and make it operational.

Nana Essandoh said the people of Nkusukum Traditional Area were sitting on a gold mine but are still saddled with poverty, diseases and hunger and urged the government to clearly state its position on the issue too assuage the concerns of the people of Saltpond and the nation.

Nana Essandoh made the appeal at a durbar on Saturday to climax the celebration of this year's Odambea festival at Saltpond under the theme "let us unite and build the Nkusukum state".

The durbar also marked the launch of ''500 million cedis Okesse Essandoh VII Education Fund" to help improve the standard of education in the area.

The chief said the area was endowed with a lot of potential and if properly harnessed would enhance its development. He also appealed to the government to state its position on the Saltpond Ceramics Company that in the past offered some employment to the youth but has collapsed.

Nana Essandoh appealed to the Ministry of Health to post more specialist doctors to the Saltpond Government Hospital to curb the frequency of referring cases to the regional hospital at Cape Coast.

He commended the government for ensuring political and social stability and development projects throughout the nation and pledged that he would work with the relevant authorities for the development of his traditional area.

Mr Stephen Asamoah Boateng, a Deputy Minister of Information, appealed to Ghanaians to appreciate the fact the government inherited a lot of financial difficulties from the past government but has been able to come out of it through the adoption of HIPC.

''It is this government that has been able to fulfil it campaign promises within three years as stated in the parties manifesto.'' He said infrastructure, ITC, modernised agriculture and the National Health Insurance Scheme are as some of the projects the government has successfully executed.

Mr Robert Quainoo-Arthur, the District Chief Executive, appealed to the chiefs to use the celebration of the festival to settle all chieftaincy and land disputes.

He said the government was committed to ensuring that all communities in the nation benefit from development projects and that within three years more than 16 development projects including roads, school blocks, clinics, markets and toilets have been undertaken in the district.

Mr Quainoo-Arthur advised them ''to watch and guide their tongues during the elections campaigns'' and said belonging to different political parties did not make them enemies.

He expressed concern about the prevalence and rate of the spread of HIV/AIDS in the area and called on all stakeholders to step up the education on it. 29 Aug 04

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