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28.06.2005 Regional News

Demand permanent solution to problems facing Northern Ghana - MP

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Tamale, June 28, GNA - Mr Rashid Pelpuo, Member of Parliament for Wa Central, has charged Northerners to demand permanent solution to problems facing Northern Ghana.

He said the situation where leaders asked for ad-hoc solutions from government had in no way relieved the North from its economic quagmire. Mr Pelpuo was speaking at the closing ceremony of the Northern Students' Union (NSU) congress in Tamale.

The three-day congress was on the theme: "Building Peace and Accelerating Development in Northern Ghana."

Mr Pelpuo entreated people from the area to desist from requesting food supplement only but rather task government to set up industries and factories to boost economic activities in Northern Ghana. The Member of Parliament advised Northerners not to see themselves as poor but as industrious people who could take their destiny into their own hands.

Alhaji Abubakar Saddique Boniface, Northern Regional Minister, reiterated his call on government to offer tax-free holidays for industries and businesses established in the area as a way of attracting investment.

He said the Northern Region would continue to remain poor if the vast natural resources in the area were not exploited for the benefit of the people in particular and the country as a whole.

He called on students to present a unified force in order to break the age-old vicious cycle of poverty in the area saying: "Government will do everything possible to support you."

Alhaji Boniface advised the students to lead morally upright lives and avoid acts that could lead them into contracting HIV/AIDS.

Dr Hakeem Wemah, Former Chairman of the University for Development Studies (UDS) Council, urged members of NSU to do their work without provocation and place the union's interest above any political or ethnic considerations.

Dr Wemah advised the Union to work diligently and to offer themselves for voluntary national service in their various communities during the vacation to help in teaching the unfortunate ones to pass their examinations.

Mr Abubakar Forgor, NUGS President, called for the take-off of the new students trust loan to help students to buy books and other relevant materials needed for effective education.

He said it was not fair for students especially in the North to pay exorbitant fees when most of the schools were ill equipped and called on NSU to serve as a pressure group on the Government to press home the demand.

The Union presented a five-point agenda to guide NSU in its quest to achieve its objectives.

The President-elect, Mr Issifu Salisu Be-Awuribe, thanked the organizations and individuals for donating generously towards the establishment of a permanent secretariat for the Union.