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Regional News Mon, 3 Jul 2006

B/A Regional Minister expresses concern about chieftaincy disputes

Sunyani, July 3, GNA - Mr Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, has expressed concern about the perennial chieftaincy disputes in the region, saying it had stalled development in certain communities.

He appealed to the Regional House of Chiefs to persuade feuding parties to make concessions to have such disputes resolved in the interest of peace and development of the region. Mr. Baffour-Awuah was speaking at the Second General Meeting of the House in Sunyani.

"I must say I am rather disappointed with the continued increase in chieftaincy disputes in the region, which have increased from 53 in December 2005 to 55 by the half year of 2006", he said. He stressed that instead of engaging in costly chieftaincy disputes, traditional rulers could channel resources, time and energy into economic ventures that would make positive impact on the lives of their people and communities.

"Protracted disputes do not benefit any body as in the end, there would be neither victors nor vanquished. It is your subjects who suffer", the Regional Minister added.

Mr. Baffour-Awuah said the government was doing its best to make the country investor-friendly by enacting laws and stabilizing the macro economic environment and that it was imperative for traditional authorities to make their areas have comparative advantage through the establishment of land banks, undertaking joint investment tours and holding public fora, as well as exposing investments and tourism potentials.

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Mr Baffour Awuah emphasised that government had introduced the capitation grant as a way of accelerating the Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education (FCUBE) Programme, which had substantially increased enrolment levels in basic schools.

This, he noted, would pose new challenges for the education sector in terms of increased workload for teachers and Ghana Education Service workers, as well as logistics and educational infrastructure. The Regional Minister appealed to traditional authorities to assist Municipal and District Directorates of Education to monitor and identify peculiar constraints and find solutions to them.

Mr. Baffour-Awuah reiterated that the mutual health insurance scheme was introduced to help reverse deficiencies in the health care delivery system by providing a more sustainable way by which every citizen could access health care without paying at the point of service delivery.

He appealed to the chiefs to encourage their subjects to subscribe to the scheme to guarantee themselves and their families cheap and ready access to health care delivery. He emphasised concern about the attitude of chiefs who released land to Fulani herdsmen, who posed a threat to the security of the region.

Okatakyie Agyeman Kudom, President of the House, appealed to the Regional Coordinating Council to organise a public forum to showcase the region's potentials to attract investors. He commended the Council for the release of 15 million cedis to the House in support of the construction of its new offices. 03 July 06

Source: GNA
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