Accra, March 9, GNA - Mr. Kofi Adusei-Poku, Deputy Minister-Designate of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, on Wednesday said he would go in for the idea of elected District Chief Executives since they would be more accountable to the people.
The nominee, who was answering questions from the Appointments Committee of Parliament, said when DCE's were elected by popular votes they would be forced to deliver and generate funds internally instead of depending on the district assemblies common fund to develop their districts.
On conflicts between the DCE's and Members of Parliament over the allocation of MPs Common Funds, Mr. Adusei-Poku said district chief executives needed more education and training on the purpose of the funds to ensure that their respective areas were developed through the use of the funds.
On some challenges facing unit committees in the Local government system, the nominee said it appeared these committees were not functioning because they were poorly resourced and the district assemblies were also not ready to devolve power to them.
Mrs Angelina Baiden-Amissah, Deputy Minister-Designate, Ministry of Education and Sports, told the Committee that there was the need to provide incentives and accommodation for teachers in the rural areas to ensure that teachers stayed in these areas to raise the standards over there.
She said it would be proper if the entry requirement into the senior secondary school were lowered for children from the rural areas who sat for the Basic Education Certificate Examination.
She said it was only fair to assist such children since they were deprived and did not have access to learning materials and other facilities as compared to their counterparts in the urban areas. On teenage pregnancy, the nominee said when girls were given a lot of interesting activities to engage them at home they would have very little time to get involved in sexual activity which may lead into pregnancy.
On the militant stance taken by some women activists on the Domestic Violence Bill, the nominee said it was not necessary for these women to go on demonstration to press for the passage of the bill when they could have used dialogue to press home their demands. On her views about introducing girls to boxing, she said it was all right for girls to go into boxing since they were already playing football.
Mr. Stephen Asamoah-Boateng, Deputy Minister-Designate, Ministry of Tourism and Modernisation of the Capital City, said it would be necessary for more work to be done in raising the revenue base of the tourism industry.
He said, although it was important to get in more tourists into the country, the revenue inflow from the industry was not substantial because, the hotels were still importing basic items such as bed sheets, which could be produced locally to earn Ghana some money.
He said there was also the need to develop the tourism industry by raising the awareness levels of the community on sanitation, especially in the light of some major events such as Ghana's Golden Jubilee celebration and the CAN 2008, football tournament, which would attract a large number of tourists.
On PANAFEST, the nominee said the idea was a good one but the concept of appealing to the people in the Diaspora to come home and participate had to be tackled.
Mr. Affram Asiedu, Deputy Minister-Designate, Ministry of Trade and Industry, said the Ministry would depend on attaches in the various Ghanaian missions abroad to link up with partners to expand trade opportunities for the country.
On the limiting of importation of foreign goods to boost the local markets, the nominee said Ghana was not financially endowed like Nigeria to depend solely on its own market but would have to continue to import goods such as rice and poultry. 9 March 05