23.02.2005 General News

Govt abandons principle on zero tolerance for corruption - MP

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Accra, Feb. 23, GNA - Mr. A-Umar Abdul-Razaq, NDC-Tolon, on Wednesday said the NPP government has abandoned its principle of "zero tolerance for corruption" and this did not augur well for the development nation.

He therefore, urged government to do more about corruption in the society to ensure the sustenance of good governance.

The Member of Parliament was contributing to the debate on the State of the Nation Address on the floor of Parliament.

On participatory governance, the member said it was not enough to create 28 new districts if the basic structures of local government such as unit committees, urban and town area councils were not in place to support decentralisation of power and the participation of all citizens in nation building.

Mr. Kofi Frimpong, NPP-Kwabre East, in his contributions, said there was the need to invest heavily in tourisms, now rated as the largest industry in the world.

He said Ghana had many untapped and un-explored tourist sites including the Antoa Nyama shrine in his constituency. The MP drew laughter from his colleagues when he said the shrine should be developed into an international tourists site because it had large patronage from people in and outside Ghana including some prominent politicians.

Mr. Sam Ahi, NDC-Juaboso, touched on the cocoa industry and said the President did not say much in his address about the industry, which he claimed was in crisis.

The MP was interrupted several times by some MPs from the majority side on points of order for his views on the cocoa industry. He said farmers in the Juaboso Constituency had since the 2003/2004 cocoa seasons not received their bonuses.

He said the traditional way of paying these bonuses to the farmers through licensing companies had been taken over by the Cocoa Board, which was now involved in paying these monies directly to the farmers thus creating difficulties for these farmers.

Mr Ahi also urged government to focus on the development of infrastructure, especially roads, in the northern parts of the Western Region to facilitate economic development in the area.

Mrs Agnes Chigabatia, NPP-Builsa-North, dwelt on the youth and praised government for introducing a skills training development programme for them as part of human resource development. She urged MPs to go out into the streets to educate the youth on government policies.

Mr Eric Opoku, NDC-Asunafo South, said it was certainly not an exciting time to be in Ghana in the light of present economic difficulties, when people in his constituency cannot enjoy secondary school education because of the high school fees.

He said with the recent increases in petroleum prices, the positive change chapter two programme of the government would destroy any gains made under chapter one.

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