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28.07.2005 General News

VEEP addresses Upper East House of Chiefs


Bolgatanga, July 28, GNA - Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama on Wednesday called on traditional rulers in the country to live up to their roles as Government's partners in development by facilitating the release of land to investors.

He asked them to handle land acquisition in a positive and friendly manner to encourage investors to invest in the country. Ahhaji Mahama was addressing a general meeting of the Upper East Regional House of Chiefs in Bolgatanga as part of his working visit to the region.

He asked the traditional rulers to use dialogue in resolving disputes, especially those related to land and chieftaincy, in order not to retard progress.

"Government sees chiefs as partners in development. Without the support of you chiefs, things will be difficult for government", Alhaji Mahama said.

The Vice President told the chiefs that government would continue to encourage the opening of more rural banks in distant communities to stimulate economic growth, provide more dams throughout the region to promote all-year-round agricultural activity, and bring quality education to people in the rural areas through the Model School programme.

He dilated on the benefits of the National Health Insurance Scheme and urged chiefs to encourage the people to register with the scheme adding "You only have to sell two guinea-fowls to get 72,000 cedis for registration".

The Regional Minister, Mr Boniface Gambila announced plans by the Regional Co-ordinating Council (RCC) to go round the 10 regional capitals to mobilise funds from citizens of the Upper East to set up a common pool for undertaking development projects. He said the funds would be used for the building of a guesthouse and a resource centre in Accra for chiefs and people from the Upper East, who visit the national capital to transact business in the interest of the region.

The Regional Minister said hostel facilities would also be provided in the country's universities for students from the region. The newly elected President of the Regional House of Chiefs, Kologo Naba Simon Ayidana Asobayire IV, said due to the strict adherence by chiefs to the Chieftaincy Act of 1971, only two chieftaincy cases were pending before the House.

He said: "To the best of my knowledge, there are also no chieftaincy cases pending in any of the judicial committees of the 12 Traditional Councils in the region".

Kologo Naba Asobayire appealed to the RCC to provide the House with a vehicle to enable members to conveniently attend to national assignments, as the only vehicle for the House was off the road, because it was involved in an accident last September.

He also appealed to the Regional Minister to assist the House to complete a guesthouse project, which he said, had been at the foundation level for several years now.