Osagyefuo Amotia Ofori Panin II
The Okyenhene, Osagyefuo Amotia Ofori Panin II, has lamented over the fallen standards of education in the country.
According to him, it was very appalling to learn that about 72 per cent of students who wrote this year’s West African Senior High School Certificate Examination failed.
He therefore stressed the need for the government to ensure that Ghanaian children had free quality education to improve the standards of education.
According to him, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah realised that every development was educational driven.
He said to this end, the first President of Ghana saw the need to introduce the free quality education policy which benefited lots of Ghanaians, no matter which part of the country they came from.
The Okyenhene also called on the government to decentralise certain sectors of the economy from the capital city to the other regions.
He indicated that, apart from helping to ensure the country’s accelerated development, the initiative would also help create jobs for the teeming unemployed youth.
‘For this country to experience accelerated development, there is the need for government to decentralise the headquarters of certain key sectors of the economy from the capital city to the regions,’ he stressed.
He stated; ‘What is the office of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) doing in Accra? I believe the Western Region deserves to have the head office of the Lands and Forestry.
“Now everything you have to go to Accra; to the extent that even your pension pay you have to go for it in Accra.’
The Okyenhene made these remarks at this year’s celebration of the annual Kundum festival by the chiefs and people of Lower Dixcove Traditional Area in the Western Region over the weekend.
He was the chairman for the occasion.
The Kundum festival presented the platform for the people to take stock of their activities, achievements, successes and failures and also strategise to improve upon their performance.
This year’s celebration was on the theme, ‘Sustaining the environment for development and healthy life’.
Nana Kwesi Agyeman IX, Omanhene of Lower Dixcove Traditional Area, revealed that it was regrettable to note that the rate of unemployment among the youth in the area was very high.
He appealed to the government to fulfil its promise of creating jobs so that the teeming unemployed youth in his traditional area would get jobs.
He also lamented about the deplorable road network in the area and called for their immediate repairs to help in the carting of fish and other food crops from the area to market centres.
On his part the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Nii Osah Mills, stated that the greatest challenge facing the natural resources sector was deforestation and land degradation.
He noted that there were serious reported cases of illegal chainsaw operations in some prime forest reserves, encroachment by cocoa farmers, as well as heavy pollution of water bodies by illegal miners.
‘Rivers such as Ankobra, Bia, Pra and Tano have now been polluted and can no longer be used for domestic purposes,’ he lamented.
Mr. Mills revealed that the forestry sector was strengthening law enforcement through the establishment of rapid response teams by the Forestry Commission to clamp down on all illegal activities in the forest.
The Western Regional Minister, Paul Evans Aidoo, described the indiscriminate disposal of waste, and developments on swampy and unauthorised areas as a threat to the survival of the environment.
‘With this, the spread of diseases like malaria and cholera is imminent, thereby reducing productivity, increasing health bills and draining national revenue,’ he added.
The Minister of Chieftaincy and Culture, Seidu Daana, stressed that chiefs remained important elements in every sustainable development, adding that where the institution of chieftaincy had been disregarded, there had been dire consequences.
Also present were Johnson Asiedu Nketsia and Yaw Boateng Gyan, General Secretary and National Organiser of the NDC respectively.
From Emmanuel Opoku, Dixcove
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