- Some of the challenges facing the nation and all the regions and districts are armed robbery, land disputes, invasion of farms by herdsmen and influx of foreign nationals with questionable characters. These are issues that must not be taken for granted or swept under the carpet.
Written By Dr. Kofi Amponsah-Bediako - It is very important that from time to time, meetings are organised among important stakeholders such as regional ministers, chief Directors and other prominent persons who play critical roles in developing the nation. Such meetings help to draw attention to critical details that are often overlooked because of the belief that stakeholders already know them.
During the meeting, the Chief of Staff, Mrs Frema Osei Opare, raised important issues in a manner that could help participants to re-examine their lifestyles and ways of doing things so as to bring improvement to the nation as a whole. For example, as a nation, all sections need to knit together and move in a common direction as envisaged by the leadership of the country. The President of the republic and his government has a vision which must be followed by all including regional ministers and chief directors. The direction of government and growth can be achieved if we all move along the same path of progress. It is in the light of this that the chief of Staff emphasised the need for regional ministers and chief directors to coordinate the activities in such a way to bring about progress and development as expected in line with our national aspirations.
One important point made by the Chief of Staff during the meeting was the need for regional ministers and others to respond promptly to early warning signals to help avoid mistakes and to overcome difficulties and challenges that may come our way irrespective of the region in which we find ourselves. Regional ministers serve as representatives of the President in the country, so it is important they use the oversight responsibility in the area of security, governance, consensus building and socio-economic development in the interests of the people. Each of the regions also face a number of challenges that may differ from the others but this is where the Regional ministers are expected to prioritise any of the challenges they face to bring about peace. No matter the good intentions of government, if there is no peace, it will be difficult to achieve any of the objectives for the political development of the country. Peace is therefore very important and must not be compromised under any circumstances.
Some of the challenges facing the nation and all the regions and districts are armed robbery, land disputes, invasion of farms by herdsmen and influx of foreign nationals with questionable characters. These are issues that must not be taken for granted or swept under the carpet. When we overlook such negative tendencies, they are likely to disturb the peace of the country. The Chief of Staff also made reference to land disputes, smuggling of illegal material and petroleum products. She made reference to inter-religious conflicts which come up from time to time in various parts of the country. Even though Ghana is relatively peaceful when it comes to religious conflicts, we must not rest on our oars but be proactive and pick up early warning signals so as to be able to overcome possible dangers that may emerge.
A major problem facing the country is illegal small-scale mining. It has been pointed out by the President of the republic that government is not against mining but rather the negative manner some mining interest groups are working against the interest of the nation. Illegal mining as has been pointed out is causing reckless deforestation which can ultimately affect the climate of the country. Also, such activities cause destruction to water bodies and experts have warned that if nothing is done about the situation, the country may have to start importing drinking water after about ten years.
This is a serious matter that must not be joked with and that explains why the need to respond promptly to early warning signals as emphasised by the Chief of Staff. Organisers of the meeting that is the office of the head of the local government service must be commended for a good work done. The office conducted the meeting in partnership with the ministry of local government, decentralisation and rural development. Decentralisation is very important and must be carried out effectively if the whole country is to enjoy its maximum benefit.
For this to be possible, stakeholders must play the role expected of them so that various parts of the country can be brought on board through the regional ministers and chief directors to bring the country together for national development.
BY DR. KOFI AMPONSAH-BEDIAKO, DIRECTOR OF CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS, GHANA STANDARDS AUTHORITY.
NEWS COMMENTARY ON THE REGIONAL AND CHIEF DIRECTORS MEETING HELD IN ACCRA.