Mr. Rockson Bukari, Upper Easter Reg. Minister
Minister-designate for the Upper East Region, Rockson Ayine Bukari, yesterday thrilled members of the Appointments Committee with the frank manner in which he answered questions posed to him, which were laced with occasional jokes.
He told the committee members not to waste time in vetting him and quickly approve his nomination to go to the region and display his competence because even before he appeared before the committee, he had met all the Members of Parliament in the region – which is a stronghold of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) – as well as opinion leaders and told them that if they failed to support him and he failed in his work, he would punish all of them.
“I am going to work for the people. I believe in working for the people first before anything so I have told my MPs – whether NPP or NDC – ‘if you fail me you will be punished,’” Mr Ayine Bukari said, stressing that he would ensure that the technocrats he is going to work with in the region are made to work very hard to speed up the development of the region.
He said for the reward of the members of the committee when they quickly approve his nomination to go and start work, he would invite all of them to Bolgatanga, the regional capital, for a great feast where “plenty roasted guinea fowl would be served,’ asking whether the members on the committee were aware that guinea fowl is one of the best meat in the North.
On his vision for the region, he said that he would collaborate with all the paramount chiefs to speed up development in the region.
Mr Ayine Bukari said when he was the Municipal Chief Executive for Bolgatanga between 2001 and 2005, the municipality was adjudged the neatest in the country and was awarded as the best district in revenue generation.
He said when he assumed office, his immediate priority would be to tackle the sanitation situation in the region, especially in the capital, and the major towns and also make sure the road networks in the regional capital are given a major facelift.
“When you go to Wa, the roads are very nice and in Bolgatanga, the roads are very bad. I am not happy about this at all,” he expressed.
He said he would also ensure that the defunct Bolgatanga Meat Factory is converted into an abattoir where many people would have the opportunity to work.
According to him, he would also look for private investors to partner government in reviving the defunct Pwalugu Tomato Factory and create jobs for the youth.
Unveiling his plans to stop the fast degradation and desertification of the region, he said he had already met the Forestry Department officials and urged them to take steps to stop the serious deforestation and the desertification.
The Minister-designate for the Volta Region, Dr Archibald Letsa, told the committee that the NPP would fulfill its promise of building a harbour at Keta and also providing landing beaches for the prominent fishing communities along the coast of the region.
He said the Akufo-Addo administration has also promised to revive the salt industry in the Keta municipality and the Ketu South District and that he, when approved by the committee, would ensure that that is done to help create jobs for the people in the region
Dr Archibald Letsa told the committee that some investors had already made enquiries about the need to establish factories in some districts in the region and that as he was speaking, some Indian investors had come to invest in rice and sugar production in the North Tongu and Central Tongu districts.
He said also that in the capital town of Ho, 1,680 acres of land bank had been created to be given to potential investors, especially those willing to partner the government in implementing the ‘one district, one factory’ policy.
Dr Archibald Letsa disclosed that some investors had expressed willingness to establish a fertilizer factory at Ho.
He said one area he would also focus on is development of agriculture to encourage the youth to go into farming.
On the creation of the new region out of the Volta Region, Dr Letsa said that it is intended to facilitate development in the northern part of the region where poverty is very endemic.
According to him, the proposed creation of Oti Region is not anything new because the people in the northern part of the Volta Region have been advocating for it.
He said it is also his intention to promote tourism since the region can boast of some of the best tourist sites in the country.
The Minister-designate for the Upper West Region, Sulemana Alhassan, also told the committee that he would work to ensure total peace in the region.
On how to curb the numerous armed robbery attacks in the region, the regional minister-designate told the committee that he would collaborate with the security agencies, especially the police, to enhance night patrols and also do more community policing.
“Mr chairman, I will ensure that watchdog committees are formed in the communities to serve as first points of surveillance in the communities,” he said, stressing that education would be carried out on how community members should always be security conscious.
By Thomas Fosu Jnr