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20.11.2005 Regional News

Wassa and Sefwi chiefs to demonstrate for bigger share of revenue

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Wassa-Akropong (W/R) Nov.20 -GNA- Fifty paramount and divisional chiefs in Amenfi and Sefwi traditional areas in the Western Region have decided to embark on peaceful demonstration to press home their demand for "fair share of revenue" generated from the management of natural resources in these areas.

Their action would also be against what they called "unnecessary long delays" in the payment of royalties to chiefs, Nana Ntori Bonkye Akomiah, chief of Amuni and spokesman told the Ghana News Agency after a meeting at Wassa-Akropong on Saturday.

He said the planned demonstration had been slated for Thursday November 24, 2005 at Wassa-Akropong.

Nana Akomiah who is also the Gyaasehene of Wassa-Akropong Traditional area said the chiefs would resort to demonstration because the Forestry Commission and the government have "consistently refused to listen to our plight".

"If they continue to give deaf ears to our demand, we are prepared to march to the Castle to state our case because we have been cheated for far too long," he stated.

Nana Akomiah said chiefs have, for a long time stood against the modalities for the sharing of revenue generated form the management of resources of the various traditional areas.

"This had continued for decades simply because of disunity that had existed among some chiefs," he noted and said this time round the chiefs would join forces and fight against the "injustice".

Nana Akomiah was of the view that with the introduction of the District Assemblies Common Fund, the assemblies should be excluded from the sharing of revenue generated from the management of natural resources. Sixty per cent of all revenue generated from the management of natural resources of any traditional area goes to the Forestry Commission and ten per cent to the Stool Lands Administrator.

Fifty-five per cent of the remaining amount goes to the District Assemblies, 20 per cent goes to the Traditional Councils, while the remaining 25 per cent is paid to chiefs or stool landowners. Nana Akomiah disclosed to the GNA on telephone that the paramount chiefs of the two traditional areas fully supported the intended demonstration by the chiefs.

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