General News Fri, 16 Jan 2004

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Govt would continue to be transparent - Effah Darteh

Kato (B/A), Jan. 16, GNA - Captain Nkrabeah Effah-Darteh (rtd), Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, on Wednesday said the Government would continue to exhibit transparency in governance.

Speaking at a People's Assembly at Kato in Berekum District, the Deputy Minister, who is the MP for Berekum said President Kufour's idea of the People's Assembly throughout the country was a testimony of the true grass-root participatory democracy being pursued by the government. He noted that the programme was linked to the concept of "Positive Change," adding that, the main aim was to let Ghanaians assess the performance of the Government and to afford the public the chance to ask questions and offer suggestions on matters of national interest. Capt. Effah-Darteh explained that it also offered the government an opportunity to listen to the views of the public, saying, "Without the people there will be no government".

He attributed the staggering growth of the country on unnecessary coups d'etat, which he said had also hurt the nation's pride and dignity.

To halt such military adventurism and let constitutionally elected governments to operate unhindered, Ghanaians must know their rights and stand up against such misguided military adventurers.

Capt Effah-Darteh said the heavy debt bequeathed to the nation by the NDC government compelled the NPP to embrace the HIPC initiative as the only way for the survival of the economy.

President Kufour said the government have not regretted for taking the decision, which had helped to construct new classroom blocks, clinics, boreholes, roads and provided communication facilities and other development projects, he said.

Due to mismanagement before the 2000 general election, the NDC contracted bank loans to the tune of 300 billion cedis and said the government had not contracted any bank loan for the 2004 elections. The Party is going to use its own resources to go through the elections, the Deputy Minister said.

Capt Effah-Darteh stated that during the NDC regime "a lot of dust was thrown into the eyes of the populace," and said figures for development projects were manipulated with impunity.

He said the NDC government made Ghanaians to believe that it cost as much as 600,000 dollars to construct a kilometre stretch of road, "but since we came to power we have realized that it costs only 200,000 dollars to construct the same length of road".

The Deputy Minister said the NDC declared a market toll collection of six million cedis a week at Afram Plains, but NPP had been realizing not less than 35 million cedis a week.

"Lake Bosomtwe Tourist Centre was fetching 12 million cedis a week in their days, but NPP has been collecting not less than 44 million cedis, while the highest collection for the week at Techiman market in Brong Ahafo under the NDC was 12 million cedis. We are collecting 80 million cedis now," he stated.

The MP advised the 36 communities under the Berekum district to register for the proposed health insurance scheme.

Mr. Yaw Adjei-Duffour, Brong-Ahafo Deputy Regional Minister deplored the numerous reports on chieftaincy to the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) and appealed to chiefs to be transparent in taking decisions affecting the institution.

No meaningful development could take place in areas with chieftaincy problems, he said and called on the youth to guard against being influenced to take sides or meddle in such issues. Mr. Adjei-Duffour cautioned that the RCC would deal drastically with anyone caught setting a bush fire, adding that, bushfires had destroyed the virgin forests of the region, notably between Nsoatre and Kato.

The Deputy Regional Minister appealed to the people to register for the community health insurance scheme, which he said was aimed at helping the vulnerable to gain access to quality health care. Mr. Kwabena Kyere Yeboah, District Chief Executive, said a number of projects had been executed with funds from the District Assembly Common Fund (DACF), Social Investment Fund (SIF) and the Small-Water Projects.

Source: GNA

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