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14.08.2005 General News

Disputes retard progress - JAK

GNA

Cape Coast, Aug. 14, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor on Sunday called on traditional rulers in the Central Region to provide sincere, committed and visionary leadership, and be able to mobilize citizens in their traditional areas to harness the opportunities that are being created in the region for them.

According to him, the region would soon benefit from more agro-related programmes under the Millennium Challenge Account, of which Ghana was expected to access 290 million dollars for extensive modern agriculture and agro-business projects in the Central and Northern regions, as well as the Afram Plains basin.

The President was addressing members of the Regional House of Chiefs as part of his five-day tour of the region.

He held that the current level of investment in the region could not thrive and yield expected dividends in the midst of protracted chieftaincy disputes and accompanying litigation over land. The situation, according to the President, was creating tension and divisiveness within the society and also tended to sap the creative energies of the people and inhibit productivity.

He therefore advised the chiefs to endeavour to resolve all chieftaincy disputes in the region.

President Kufuor expressed concern about the general attitude of Ghanaians towards productivity, and said the time had come to change for the better, adding that the change must be radical both in terms of attitudes towards work and cultural practices.

He noted that the economy was stabilizing in many ways on a firm foundation and that this must be credited to the efficient management of the macro-economy.

"Having laid this foundation, it now behoves on all of us to work hard to propel the national economy towards accelerated growth," he urged.

President Kufuor said the government was determined to "work even harder this second term", to accelerate the pace of development to merit the trust of all Ghanaians, especially those who confidently voted for his administration's re-election.

"Fortunately, our nation is steadily gaining in the reputation of good governance, a priority of this government in West Africa, Africa and the world, all our citizens must take pride in this and resolve to sustain it"

On government support for education, he said the provision of the capitation grant, is to ensure that all children between the ages of four and 15 years are kept in school and given free and compulsory basic education at the expense of the state, to inculcate a uniform sense of discipline and work ethics in them.

Nana Kwamina Ansah IV, Eguafohene and President of the House, underscored the important role of chiefs in ensuring good governance. "As chiefs we are always with the grassroots and serving as a unifying force, mobilizing the people for the development and all other fields that would make for socio-economic growth and political enhancement", he said.

Nana Ansah expressed regret that the region was ranked the fourth poorest in the country in spite of its vast potentials. He said the Regional House of Chiefs was collaborating with the Central Region Development Commission to boost investment inflow into the region and called for government's support to achieve the expected results.

Nana Ansah repeated an earlier request for permanent counsel for all the regional houses of chiefs to facilitate the prompt disposal of cases brought before them.

He also called for the appointment of a minister of Chieftaincy Affairs to liaise between the chieftaincy institution and the government. 15 Aug. 05

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