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29.06.2005 Regional News

Debt relief money to improve lives of Ghanaians


Lawra, (U/W) June 29, GNA - Ms. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, deputy Minister of Information has assured Ghanaians that the 4.1 billion dollars debt relief granted Ghana by the industrialised countries, would be used to make improvement in the lives of Ghanaians, especially those in the rural areas. She said the money would be used in poverty alleviation, road and water projects among others.

Ms. Botchwey made this known when she addressed members of the Lawra District Assembly at Lawra and staff of the Nadowli District Assembly at Nadowli on Tuesday. Ms. Botchwey who was on a one-day familiarisation visit to the Upper West Region, was also to find out from the assemblies on how best government policies could be effectively be disseminated in the districts.

The deputy Minister who also answered questions from the staff and assembly members on a wide-range of issues explained to them the controversy surrounding the President's son's acquisition of a hotel near his residence, and the Africa Peer Review mechanism report on Ghana. She appealed to assembly members to collaborate with the Information Service Department in the dissemination of government policies since they are opinion leaders in their communities.

The deputy Minister stated that since all Ghanaians have a stake in the development of the country, they should put aside partisan considerations, and support the government to develop the country.

At Lawra, a member suggested that instead of the President nominating people for appointment as DCEs, the government should allow the Assemblies to choose their DCEs for the President to approve. Another member, Mr. Stephen Kpen, assembly member for the Zambo Electoral area, asked the Ministry of Local Government to remove the restrictions attached to how the districts could utilise their share of the Common Fund, instead of restricting the disbursement to specific projects. He argued that since the assemblies constitute local authorities by themselves, they have a right to decide which areas are their priorities.