Solomon Namliit Boar
Deputy Minister-designate for the Northern Region, Solomon Namliit Boar, has proposed the setting up of a Peace Fund to help sensitise the people of the region on the need to always maintain peace and help promote development.
The deputy regional minister-designate made the proposal yesterday when he appeared before the Appointments Committee of Parliament and was asked how he could help to deal with the incessant disturbances – either chieftaincy or land disputes – which are undermining the peace and development of the region.
Other deputy ministers-designate, who were also vetted by the committee were Elizabeth Agyeman, former MP for Oforikrom, for the Ashanti Region; Gifty Eugenia Kusi, former MP for Tarkwa, Western Region and Elizabeth Sackey, former MP for Okaikoi North, Greater Accra Region.
Mr Boar said the fund would be used to engage religious and traditional leaders to hold educational programmes, especially for the youth of the region, to avoid such conflicts and protect their future and interest.
He said some religious bodies have started such peace advocacy campaign in the Northern Region and that it was absolutely important for such Peace Fund to be set up to help broaden the peace agenda and also involve many stakeholders in the efforts to minimize the chieftaincy and land conflicts in the region.
He told the committee that he would work closely with the regional minister to help promote development in the area.
Mr Boar mentioned lack of potable water for the people of the region as one of the major problems facing the people and said that he intends to engage many of the Non-Governmental Organisations to provide a number of boreholes for the people.
Mr Namliit Boar said the ‘one village, one dam’ policy of the government would also help provide constant source of water for all-year-round farming in the Northern Region.
The Deputy Northern Regional minister-designate, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Bunkpurugu, said he would also ensure that felling of trees that is seriously degrading the land in the north is controlled to make the land support improved farming.
One area Mr Boar said was of great concern to him is how children of the Northern Region would get access to formal education, especially the females, stressing that he would also devote a lot of his attention to improving access to education in the region for all children of school going age.
The Deputy Western Regional Minister-designate, Gifty Eugenia Kusi, who was also vetted, assured the Appointments Commitment of her unalloyed support for her regional minister whom she described as affable and very understanding, and promised to work closely with him to promote the development of the region.
When she was asked whether she would be able to work with the regional minister without any form of conflict, having been a member of parliament for a long time, the nominee said, “We are already bonded and have good relationship. I promise on my honour to be faithful and loyal to my regional minister.”
When she was asked about her opinion as a heath expert on the rising cases of suicide in the country, the deputy regional minister-designate said the recent suicide phenomenon is very disturbing and sad.
She said it was very important for the government to increase budgetary allocations to the psychiatric hospitals in the country to help extend their services to the Ghanaian populace.
She also noted that counseling departments in the various educational institutions, especially secondary and tertiary levels, should be strengthened.
“The day-to-day activities of these counseling departments must be strengthened and extended to all students,” she suggested.
Ms Kusi said it was also important for teachers in institutions to always get closer to students to know their problems so that they could be assisted with the best of counseling.
On the increasing rate of teenage pregnancy in the Western Region, Gifty Kusi, who was a former Member of Parliament for Tarkwa/Nsuaem, said she would play an advocacy role for teenagers to either abstain from sex and concentrate on their education or to have protected sex since it is an undeniable fact that most teenagers are very active sexually.
Greater Accra Region
The Deputy Minister-designate for the Greater Accra Region, Elizabeth Sackey, said she would collaborate with her regional minister to push the development of the region forward.
Ms Sackey, who was a former MP for Okaikwei North, said she would play an active role in ensuring the empowerment of women in the region, especially those along the coast.
She explained that empowerment of women starts with good educational background and so she would advocate for girls to enroll in schools; and with the school feeding and capitation grant in place, many girls would be attracted to attend school instead of staying at home.
She said she would work in collaboration with the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection to organize workshops and sensitisation programmes for women groups to help empower them and also help them set up business ventures.
The Deputy Minister-designate for the Ashanti Region, Elizabeth Agyemang, said she would concentrate her efforts in assisting vulnerable women in the region and also help promote girl-child education.
According to her, she would assist her regional minister in fighting the menace of illegal mining, popularly known as galamsey, “which is assuming alarming proportions in the region.”
She also promised to encourage women to go into farming since it is a profitable venture, using herself as an example.
By Thomas Fosu Jnr