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08.12.2005 General News

MPs bemoan the seemingly low interest in scientific research

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Accra, Dec. 8,GNA- Low budgetary lines given to research institutions by government for the years on Thursday attracted scolding from members of Parliament.

The members who were contributing to the motion for the approval of 215,704 million cedis for services of the Ministry of Environment and Science said the present situation does not make "a science and technology driven society."

Mr Lee Ocran, Member for Jomoro, said research funding for institution under the Ministry either got slashed or were not released on time.

"We all like the good things that science offers but we are not investing in scientific research."

Mrs Frema Opare Addo, Deputy Minister, Manpower Development Youth, said,"Investing in science is cheap because in the end it is a worthwhile investment."

She called for the identification of specific scientific areas of national importance that would be adequately funded. According to the Deputy Minister, "my experience at the University has thought me that because most of the research activities carried out are funded by foreign interests, they do not help in our national development but rather enhance the interest of those who funded it and we must learn from this."

She asked that the siting of industries in residential areas be stopped since emissions from such industries adversely affect the health of those living around.

Mr David Assumeng, NDC- Shai Osudoku, said:" To me this the most important Ministry in the realm."

He said agencies under the ministry were playing such important roles in national development that it should be accorded the due recognition. "If we do not place emphasis on scientific research and development, we shall never achieve our desired national developmental goals. The member scolded the Volta River Authority (VRA) for its unfriendly environmental practices, which has turned the people of the lower Volta into paupers.

He appealed to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to monitor the bulk power supplier's operations so the people of the lower Volta would have some relief.

Members of the Committee on Environment, Science and Technology said in their report to the House that, in the quest to build a prosperous nation capable of providing the basic needs of the people especially food, clothing and shelter, it must be emphasised that scientific research be resourced to enable it to play its role as a major pillar in this endeavour.