Effective Decentralisation Will Lead To Development ó Sarpong

The Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Samuel Sarpong, has said effective decentralisation will lead to people's participation in governance and development issues. He said it would also create consciousness among the people about matters affecting their environment. To achieve this goal, the regional minister admonished the Metropolitan Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) in the region to work effectively with traditional rulers and the community leaders in their areas to find solutions to local problems including chieftaincy disputes and land related issues. He stated this during his first interaction with the media in Kumasi last Thursday. The interaction also gave him the opportunity to outline his vision and programmes for the region. Dr Sarpong said he would soon embark on a district tour where he would also interact with traditional rulers and other stakeholders on matters relating to the development needs of their respective areas. He noted that the execution of all programmes underlined would largely depend upon the media which he saw as a catalyst to help accelerate development. He, therefore, appealed to the media to work in partnership for the region to develop, adding that the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) was determined to open a new chapter in its relationship with the media. Security According to the minister, the Ashanti Regional Security Council (REGSEC) had mapped up strategies to deal with armed robbery and other crimes in the region. He said intelligence reports denoted that the region was now notorious in armed robbery cases and other crimes. The report, he stressed, also indicated that there were more home-grown armed robbers in the region than any other region in the country. The minister gave the assurance that with the support in supply of logistics by the government, they would clamp down on the activities of those nation wreckers. He said he had personally donated five fast-moving brand new motorbikes to augment the governmentís efforts to enable the police reach every corner of the region to fight crime. Mr Sarpong said the REGSEC was also pursuing a vigorous war against those illegal mining operators popularly called "galamsey" whose activities were eating into the fabric of the nationís forest reserves and water bodies in the country. The war, he emphasised, would help eliminate these negative practices so as to help protect, preserve and maintain the environment and its water bodies. Infrastructural development On infrastructural development, Mr Sarpong said it would focus on education, health, roads and sanitation. Mr Sarpong stressed that the Medium Term Development Plan covering 2014 to 2017 was in the offing and the RCC would meet very soon to discuss and finalise it for implementation. The Ashanti Regional Minister disclosed that the RCC would put in place pragmatic measures to promote quality education and improve access to healthcare services in the region. That, he said, would go a long way to promote the general well-being of the citizenry, create avenues for employment and improve economic activities in the region. As part of measures to promote environmental cleanliness in Kumasi as the capital city, there must be general cleaning exercises once every month, and charged the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) to spearhead that initiative. He also said there would be intensive education to change the attitudes of people that lead to uncontrolled littering of the cities and towns. Tribute to media Dr Sarpong paid tribute to the media in the Central Region where he was, for their good work and good rapport which contributed immensely to his success during his one-year stay in the region. The Chairman of the Ashanti Regional Chapter of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Mr Listowell Yesu Burkason, for his part, thanked the minister for the interaction. He, however, assured the media of effective cooperation with the RCC, and also advised them to exhibit responsible journalism to enhance the rapid growth of the region. The Deputy Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Samuel Adusei, and the Chief Director of the RCC, Mr Kofi Dwumor Asubonteng were also at the media interaction.