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06.04.2006 Regional News

Kpeve Chief calls for solution


Kpeve, (V/R), April 6, GNA-Togbe Agbi Nani, IV Chief of Kpeve on Wednesday urged government to extend the jurisdiction of the newly created South-Dayi district to include that part of Kpeve, which is now part of the Hohoe district.

Kpeve is the district capital of the recently created South-Dayi district but part of the town is within the jurisdiction of the Hohoe District, as has been the case prior to the carving out of the new district from the Kpando district.

Togbe Agbi Nani, who made the call at a People's Assembly at Kpeve on Wednesday, likened the situation to the Berlin Wall, which until it was pulled down a few years ago had separated East Germany from West Germany.

Togbi Agbi Nani lamented in the Ewe language: " our kith and kin on the other side would very much like to be part of today's Assembly but would not be able to do so".

He said instead they would have to travel about 50 kilometres to Hohoe to be able to attend the People's Assembly. Responding, Ms Elizabeth Ohene, Minister of State in charge of Tertiary Education, said, the situation was created by the Chiefs and people of Kpeve themselves who also have the power to begin the process to reverse the situation. She said the role of government in the matter would be to support that initiative.

Regarding loans for farming, the people said these should not be tied to specific agriculture activities such as snail farming and mushroom growing only; that the processes for accessing agriculture loans should be shortened and that agriculture technical officers should be involved in administering such loans.

Pensioners on their part suggested that pension processing should be made easier and be brought closer to where they lived. Some of the pensioners alleged that they were excluded from a promised increment in pension while some of their colleagues were enjoying it. The Assembly however burst into laughter when a pensioner said he was presumed dead when he made a follow up to Accra to cross check why his pension had been stopped since September last year.

While some of those present commended government for creating the new district and the soundness of some of its policies, they drew attention to issues such as the alleged exclusion of fishermen along the Volta Lake from the supply of pre-mix fuel, lack of attention to second cycle schools in the district, especially lack of support to vocational and technical schools, the inadequacy of the capitation grant.

Other issues raised included the implementation of the Schools feeding programme, concerns were also expressed about the absence of the Member of Parliament (MP) while others also sought clarification on the disbursement of the MPs common Fund.

Responding to some of the concerns Miss Ohene apologized to the pensioners for their troubles and assured them that government was working towards improving pensions and pension administration as a show of gratitude for the dedicated services to the country. She similarly identified, with the concerns of the farmers regarding their access to loans and other facilities intended to boost their activities.

Regarding the capitation grant, she said government would remain resolute on the purposes for which the grant has been introduced and that the practice of levying parents to pay fees for printing examination questions would not be allowed.

She said the grant did not prevent Parent-Teac her Associations (PTAs) from deciding to support the schools but sacking pupils from school should not be a condition for making parents to fulfill such voluntary obligations.

Regarding the supply of pre-mix fuel to fishermen along the Volta Lake, Mr Joseph Nayan, Deputy Volta Regional Minister said the issue was brought to the attention of the Volta Regional Co-ordinating Council which has set up a committee to address the omission.

Mr Charles Tetteh, the first Vice-Chairman of the Volta Regional Branch of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) gave detailed explanation of the constitutional obligation and rationale for the passage of the Representation of the Peoples Amendment Law (ROPAL).

He said it was left for the Electoral Commission and not the government to decide on how the law would be implemented.

Mr Tetteh said before the 2004 elections the government brought up the issue in parliament but had to withdraw it for further consultation when the minority alleged that the government intended to use it to advantage during that election.

He said it was therefore counter-productive for the minority in parliament to boycott further debate on the bill in Parliament and by their action they had muzzled their constituents. Mr Tetteh said the minority must, out of courtesy apologize to their constituents.

In her welcoming address Mrs Woyram Boachie-Danquah, South-Dayi District Chief Executive enumerated a number of projects being undertaken in the district.

She observed that the homogeneous nature of the district was a source of strength and peace that must be protected at all times. Mrs Boachie-Danquah appealed to the people in the district to be patient with government in its quest to develop the district because development required much time to accomplish.