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General News Wed, 27 Nov 2002

Prez Kufuor Causes Magic In UER

Hon Mahami Salifu, Upper East Regional Minister, has said that President J.A. Kufuor?s recent visit to the region has started yielding positive results for the people of the region.


He specifically mentioned the pep talk the President had with the people which resulted in the overwhelming approval of the President?s nominee, Mr Abdul Rahman Gumah as the Bawku East District Chief Executive (DCE).


Hon Salifu said these when he took his turn at the Weekly Meet-The-Press in Accra yesterday at which he told Ghanaians what the government is doing in the region to make life worth living for the people, and the problems confronting them.


He said for almost two years, the Bawku East District Assembly could not approve the President?s nominee as the DCE for political, tribal and other related reasons, adding he (Salifu) had to double as the Regional Minister and the person responsible for the District.


He said his double responsibility could not get things done effectively as he wanted it, so it became his concern and the anxiety of all well-meaning sons and daughters of the region.


After the visit of the President and his (President?s) emotional speech, there was a drastic change of heart of the people. Everybody had then realised the injury they were inflicting on the fortunes of the region.

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He said almost immediately, the Assembly met and Mr Gumah?s nomination was massively approved to open the floodgates for several development projects to start.


?Now, the people are happy that the district is on the way to recovery. There is no suspicion or mistrust among the people and there are signs that the people actually want reconciliation and the desire to forget the past and forge ahead?, he added.


At yesterday?s function, the Minister introduced a new dimension into the Meet-The-Press series. He brought some of his Regional Directors to answer specific questions which newsmen consider to be more appropriate, because they are the people on the ground and may be better qualified to talk about specific issues.


The Deputy Minister for Local Government and Rural Development Ms Alima Mahama disclosed that the Poverty Reduction Assistance to farmers in the region is impacting positively on the people.


She said with the assistance, the farmers are going into serious agriculture with joy and even though ?we are now entering the dry season, almost all arable land is covered with green vegetation, made principally with tomatoes and onion.


She said political affiliation is not the common denominator for qualification for the assistance, adding the only qualification is the ability to cultivate the crops and be able to pay back the loan.

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The Regional Director of Agriculture told the press that they are encouraging farmers to produce enough rice to enable the government to reduce rice imports in the near future.


He said his outfit sees the government?s policy of reducing rice importation as a challenge and are therefore assisting 600 farmers to increase their production.


The Regional Agricultural Director appealed to agencies in rice marketing to make every effort to buy all that they may produce this year, to serve as a motivation for the farmers.


He assured any investor who may be interested in the Meat and Tomato Factories that p eople of the region would co-operate with them to see their investments rewarding to them.

Source: DG