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Business News Wed, 1 Dec 2004

Govt has no ulterior motive over Songhor Salt Project - Kufuor

Big-Ada (GAR), Dec. 1, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor on Wednesday said the Government had no ulterior motive over the Songhor Salt Project but was rather determined to ensure that the economic potential of the area was utilised for the benefit of the people and Ghana.

He said there had been so much suspicion among the people in the area that was hampering the utilisation of the economic potential in their area for socio-economic development.

President Kufuor said this when addressing separate durbars of the chiefs and people of the Ada Traditional Area at Big-Ada and Sege in the Dangme East district as part of his two-day tour of the Greater Accra region.

He also inaugurated a 900 million-cedis one-storey building for the Big-Ada Presbyterian Junior Secondary School (JSS).

The building comprised 10 classrooms, a workshop, an office a staff common room and seven water closets built from the HIPC and the District Assemblies Common Funds.

President Kufuor said if the chiefs and people in the area could trust the leadership of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Government, the area could be developed scientifically and technologically for the benefit of the people and Ghana.

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"I ask for trust from the chiefs and people in the area in the Government to take the initiative, anyone in doubt could consult the Government to see how transparent and honest the Government is to develop the rich natural resources in the area," he added.

President Kufuor said the Government had good intentions for the Ada area, therefore, no member of the Government under his administration would condone in any illegal transaction with the project for any selfish interest.

He announced that some experts in the salt industry from Salt Lake City in the United States had undertaken a feasibility study in the area and reported that the immense potential of salt there had not been exploited.

He therefore urged the Traditional Council and opinion leaders in the area to get a copy of the report for their perusal. President Kufuor said the Government's motive in the area was not to cheat the people of their God-given natural resources for development but to seek the cooperation of the community to develop such rich natural resource.

He said ownership of the resources would remain with the chiefs and people while the Government would have its share in the revenue that would accrue from its utilisation.

President Kufuor said the Ada Traditional Area was one area in Ghana that the people should not complain about poverty or unemployment for the youth therefore, the chiefs and people should take the appropriate decision to get themselves out of the poverty and unemployment in the area.

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He said the area also abounds in tourist attraction that could be developed for the country's socio-economic development.

Nene Abram Kabu Ackuaku III, Paramont Chief of the Ada Traditional Area, commended the Government for the socio-economic development in the area and other parts of the country.

He however, appealed to the Government for the provision of potable water for the area, improvement in the road network, provision of electricity to some areas and micro-credit assistance to traders, farmers and fishermen.

President Kufuor addressed another durbar of the chiefs and people of Old Ningo and inspected progress of work on the 252 metres Djange bridge to link Old and New Ningo in the Dangme East District. He was conducted round the project site by Mr Owusu Antwi, Site Engineer of the Ghana Highways Authority (GHA).

Work on the abandoned bridge resumed last October and is to be completed by October 2005. 01 Dec. 04

Source: GNA