General News of Thursday, 20 July 2017
Ten-member regional committees for the Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions have been inaugurated to help fight poverty and inequalities in the three regions.
The committees will also assist in restructuring the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) into a Northern Development Authority (NDA).
The members have also been tasked to ensure the successful implementation of an Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP) in the three regions of the north.
The initiative is in fulfilment of some of the campaign pledges by the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) during the 2016 electioneering.
Under the IPEP, the government will allocate $275 million to the development of basic infrastructure in the 275 constituencies in the country to embark on poverty alleviation projects.
The programme will focus on agriculture, agribusiness and slum upgrading, as well as other government flagship programmes such as ‘one-district, one-factory’, ‘one-village, one-dam’.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony in Tamale last Tuesday, the Minister of Special Development Initiatives and Member of Parliament (MP) for Awutu Senya East Constituency in the Central Region, Mrs Mavis Hawa Koomson, reiterated the government’s commitment to reduce poverty and increasing opportunities for all Ghanaians, especially the poor.
According to her, the multifaceted nature of development challenges coupled with the fast-changing world demand cutting-edge solutions that can positively impact the lives of the people in the country.
She said as a result of such difficulties, much had not been achieved even though “over the years, government has made efforts towards reducing poverty and bridging the inequality gap among population groups and different regional areas of the country”.
Mrs Koomson, therefore, advised the members to bring their skills, knowledge and expertise to bear in the implementation of the programme, as well as exhibit high levels of commitment, team spirit, reliability and diligence.
A Technical and Economic Advisor to the Vice-President, Dr Mutaka Alolo, explained that the IPEP would help improve small businesses, agricultural and infrastructure development in the three regions of the north.
According to him, the IPEP is an innovative approach by the government to direct capital expenditure towards constituency level specific infrastructure and economic development priorities to combat poverty through industrialisation and job creation.
“The $1million fund per constituency initiative by the government will also help to address the perennial water shortage, rehabilitate broken-down bridges, as well as improve on the infrastructure of schools in the country,” he stated.
The Upper West and Upper East regional ministers, Alhaji Sulemana Alhassan and Mr Rockson Bukari, advised the committees to work hard to ensure the implementation of the IPEP to help bridge the gap between the north and the south.
The Deputy Northern Regional Minister and MP for Bunkpurugu Constituency, Mr Solomon Boar, who inaugurated the regional teams also urged the members to work hard to realise the objectives of the programme.
He admonished them to eschew negative tendencies such as ethnicity and favouritism and rather direct their attention to achieving their mandate.