Dan Botwe apologises for HIPC
The Minister of Information, Mr. Daniel Botwe has rendered an unqualified apology to all Ghanaians for any hardship and inconvenience they might have experienced since 2001 due to the painful decision taken by the NPP government to choose the HIPC initiative as the only alternative to overcome the country's socio-economic quandaries.
According to the Minister, though it was a very painful move and unacceptable to most Ghanaians, particularly the opposition members who even went through the length and breadth of the country to misinform and misinterpret the government's decision on the HIPC to the people, the Kufuor-led NPP administrations he noted, had foreseen the handsome packages in HIPC before eventually arrived the decision.
Mr. Botwe who was expressing his heartfelt appreciation for the decision taken by the G-8 to cancel over $40 billion of Ghana's indebtedness in addition to the accumulated loan interests at a Mini-durbar held in his honour by the Chief and people of Wungu in the West Mamprusi District of the Northern Region, admonished the opposition members to bow down their heads in shame since most Ghanaians have now embraced the HIPC initiative and its subsequent benefits.
He attributed the G-8's gesture to what he termed as the perfect ruling of the Kufuor's administration, coupled with transparency, accountability, good governance, anti-corruption posturing and respect for the rule of law.
The aim of his first ever visit to the region since his inception as Minisater, he however disclosed was in connection with the government's new strategy to partner with and place the traditional authorities, religious heads and opinion leaders of every community at the center of disseminating and interpreting government policies and action plans to the people.
The Information Minister who blamed the underdevelopment of Ghana on what he described as the missing link between the past governments and the chiefs or governments' inability to make the community leaders part of their administration, stressed that his ministry and for that matter the NPP government was poised to correct the prolonged mistake.
He therefore appealed to the chiefs to accept the initiative and live up to expectation to complement government effort at getting so close to the people for effective redress of their plights.
Mr. Dan Botwe, as part of his visit, paid a courtesy call on the District Chief Executive of West Manprusi District at Walewale where he inspected a ¢200 million Community Information Centre with an internet café centre, library, conference room among other office apartments.
At the Mini-durbar at Wungu, the Chief of the area, Naa-Zoori Saaka, complained about the severe water problem, food shortage, no electricity and the deplorable state of the roads in the area.
The Wungu Chief who described this year, 2005, as a very bad one, appealed to the government through the Information Minister for an immediate supply of food and other interventions.
In the Northern Regional capital, Tamale, Mr. Botwe also visited most the Imams, including the Ambarriya Islamic Chief Imam and the Regional Chief Imam as well as the Regent of Tamale (Gukpe-Naa).
Mr. Botwe also took turns to visit almost all the media houses in the Tamale Metro and met with press in a discussion at the press soiree.
The Northern Regional Minister, Abubakar Saddique Boniface, the Deputy Regional Minister, Mohammed Amin Adam, the Tamale Metropolitan Chief Executive, Alhaji Iddrisu Adam and other officials accompanied the Minister.