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Opinions Fri, 17 Jun 2011

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Northern region in focus under Mills better Ghana Agenda

Northern Region records massive developmental projects

…Two years UNDER Professor Mills’ Better Ghana Agenda

Compiled by Maxwell Okamafo Asamani Addo

EDUCATION

In the northern region since 2009 that the NDC government took office it has so

far made serious progress when it comes to massive infrastructure

EDUCATION

In the area of education the NDC government has within two years undertaken a

total of 360 educational projects at the cost of GH42, 503,110.63 in the

Northern Region. They include projects to provide Dormitories, Libraries,

Classroom, Dinning Halls, Administration Blocks, Staff Bungalows and Science/ICT

Centres, Furniture, among others for Senior and Junior High Schools. For under

the schools Under Tree, 35 school buildings are being constructed to replace

such schools. The government of the NDC has also provided 14 buses and 6 pick-up

vehicles for some SHSs in the region.

HEALTH

The Health Sector is another important sector where the region has chalked a

lot of successes since January 2009.

The rehabilitation, upgrading/expansion work at the Tamale Teaching Hospital is

on course.

Since assumption of office, the government has resourced a number of health

facilities in the region and provided 64 pick-up vehicles and 580 motorbikes for

District Health Directorates to facilitate the work of these institutions. 5

polyclinics have also been completed and commissioned at Zabzugu, Janga, Karaga,

Chereponi and Kpandai at GH7 million Euros, whilst construction of a hospital

project, at Zabzugu is about 95% complete.

The Metro/Municipal/District Assemblies have also complemented the efforts of

the central government in providing community health initiative and planning

services (CHIPS) facilities, classroom for nurses’ institutions,

Construction/Rehabilitation of hospital wards, among others.

Since January 2009, the National Health Insurance Scheme has increased its

client coverage from a total of 1,094,075 to 1,925,948, a percentage increase of

80.25%. It is equally refreshing to reveal that the NDC government, under your

able leadership, has paid a total of GH36, 554,777.66 as at the end of January,

2011, as claims to the scheme’s service providers in Northern Region. The scheme

is constructing its own office complex at a total cost of GH606, 000.00. When

complete, it will facilitate the management of the scheme in the region.

One important development in the health sector in the Northern region is the

reduction in reported cases of Guinea Worm since 2009. The statistics are as

follows;

2008 479 cases reported

2009 237 cases reported

2010 8 cases reported.

Indeed no case has been reported for the last 10 months. This, in our opinion,

is a positive sign towards the total eradication of the disease from the region.

AGRICULTURE

The Northern region which is “Bread Baskets” of the nation, because it produces

a substantial proportion of the country’s food requirement. Sector it has

received a significant boost over the last two years in the region, owing to the

support the sector has enjoyed various interventions introduced by the

government.

Since 2009, a total of 13,831.2 hectares have been cultivated under the Block

Farming Programme in the region. The crops cultivated under the initiative

included, 126.0 ha of seed maize, 5,818.0 ha of maize grain, 832.2 ha of soya

bean, 6,455.6 ha of rice grain; 609 ha rice seed and 207.6 ha of sorghum.

A total amount of GH2, 621,344.86 was spent on the inputs distributed to farmers

during the period. The farmers are expected to make an in-kind refund of

7,601.02 bags from their produce.

A total of GH4, 713,066.00 was spent on 231,037 bags of fertilizer as subsidy to

over 10,000 farmers in the region who cultivated a total of 11,555 hectares of

land to produce crops such as maize, soya beans and rice, among others.

Over the 2-year period, 11 agricultural mechanization centres were established

in the region with 450 tractors supplied on credit basis to these centres. They

also benefited from 73 combine harvesters supplied. Others are:

Ø Maize shellers 35

Ø Power tillers 3

Ø Water pumps 12

Ø Rice mills 2

The National Food Security Programme has ensured that 10,000 bags of maize and

95,000 bags of rice worth GH340, 000.00 GH2, 850,000.00 respectively have been

stocked in the region as at March ending 2011

, SECURITY

The region has remained largely peaceful since your assumption of power in

2009.

However, there were a few patches of security hotspots in relation to

chieftaincy litigation, Land disputes, armed robbery, and menace of Fulani

herdsmen, among others. But the security agencies, in collaboration with the

REGSEC and the various Metro/Municipal/District Security Councils (MM/DISECs)

have collectively worked to contain the situation.

Some of the places that President Mills visited was calling on the Gupena ( Naa

Abudulai Safianu at his palace

Then also also called on the Dakpema Naa Dawuni he also inspected ongoing

projects at the tamale teaching hospital which he commissioned about 11 months

ago which is a five storey building that is at the roofing stage, it consist of

a theater, with a four hundred bed capacity consulting rooms all at the cost of

39 million Euros.

He also commissioned a UDS medical students hostel at tamale which is a Getfund

project at the cost of 1.4 million Ghana cedis and. a biometric passport office

in Tamale,

Then also called Northern regional house of chiefs where he called on the

chiefs to help bring peace to the region and also touched on SADA saying

investors want a peace before they come in so it important they all embrace

peace.

He also launched a local enterprise skills development programme LESDEP at the

jubilee park.

He also inspected the Buffer stock market of the national food security

programme where they deal in rice and has employed about 5000 women at the rice

factory in Tamale the also commissioned a rural electrification project in

Dungu.

The President Mills also called on the regional house of chiefs in the region at

a durbar in Tamale where he disclosedthat, the government had put in place

several measures towards the development of the three Northern Regions, with the

Savannah Accelerated Development Authourity (SADA) and the Northern Rural Growth

Project (NRGP) as some of the major programme for the north.

The President announced that apart from great change the SADA seeks to bring in

thelives of the people, the NDC government had secured foreign facility to

develop the Easter Corridor roads, Fufulso-Damango-Sawla road, Buipe-Tamale

road, Tamale-Salaga road and the Yendi-Bimbilla-Wulensi roads among others to

open up the economic opportunities of the area.

President Mills therefore impressed upon the Chiefs to firmly control their

subjects especially the youth to respect thelaws of theland and also allow peace

and unity to prevail so as to attract investors to the region.

As part of his visit to the region President Mills also visited Yendi where

he inspected a one-storey six units GETFund school project at Dagbon State

Senior High School and cut sod for work to be begin on a six-unit classroom

project at the Yendi Senior High. Where he also addressed a durbar of chiefs and

people including The Regent of Dagbon, Kampakuyana Abdulai Yakubu Andani,. He

also inspected projects Zabzugu and Saboba in the Zabzugu, and Saboba districts

respectively and inspected a hospital project and on-going dormitory block

project at EP Senior High School and cut sod for a Community Development Project

at Saboba.

The President Mills also toured the west Gonja district where he paid a courtesy

call on the king of Gonjland Yabonwura Tuntumba Borsesa Sulemana Jakpa and also

commissioned a 10 room girls Hostel valued at 124,230.85 Ghana Cedis at the

Damongo Health Assistant Training School (HATS) at the cost of 124,000 ghana

cedis then also inspected a new police station in Damango at the cost of

106,000ghanba cedis

Then also cut a sod for resurfacing of Buipe – TamaleHighway at Sankpaa and also

commissioned a clinic at sankpala then later also commissioned an ICT hostel in

Tamale Polytechnic.

And also assured the people that he will be back in June to cut sod for the

commencement of the construction of the Fufulso-Damongo-Sawla Road.

He also went to Savelugu to inspected a water project and inspected an

irrigated maize programme and also cut sod for feeder roads under MOFA IFD AFDB

funded northern rural programme.

Then went to Nayirigu where he inspected a school project in Nayirigu then also

commissioned a school project at the Gambaga Girls senior high school

Columnist: Addo, Maxwell Okamafo Asamani

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