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NORPRA Has Case But...


2007-09-05 15:27:42
This article has been read 811 times.

For sometime now a group calling itself Northern Patriots in Research and Advocacy (NORPRA) has been protesting against what they perceive to be the neglect and marginalization of Northern Ghana. NORPRA has already organised two demonstrations in Bolgatanga and Wa to drum home its call for the North to have a fair share of the national cake.

Government has not officially issued a statement or stated its position on the claim being made by NORPRA. Chronicle however believes that the protesters have a genuine case that must be looked at. Even before Ghana became independent, the Southern part of the country was far ahead of the North in terms of development. Our first President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah saw this and decided to introduce free education in the northern part of the country.

Though the policy is no more in place, it has in no doubt helped in opening up the North as prominent Northerners are now holding responsible positions in both the government and the private sector. Our third Republican President, Dr. Hilla Limamn and currently Alhaji Aliu Mahama are all northerners. The Chronicle is proud about this achievement.

Though all successive Governments after Nkrumah did or have done their part for the development of the North, the vast difference between them and the South is still there. This has resulted in most Northerners drifting to the South for non-existent jobs. The big question is, what is the cause of this mystery that we as a country is finding difficult to unravel? Available statistics indicate that out of 95 projects or investment that came into the country during the first quarter of this year, only one, representing 1.05% went to the whole of Northern Ghana. 78 projects representing 82.10% went to Accra and Tema alone with three projects (3.15) going to the Ashanti Region. Even though a number of tax incentives have been made available by the Government to entice investors to go up North, they are still struggling for space in Accra, Tema and Kumasi, which is already choked.

The Chronicle therefore calls on the Government to set up a research team to ascertain why investors are still not interested in going up North to invest, despite all the incentives they have put in place.

Since Government alone cannot address the problems confronting the North and will need the support of the private sector, the findings of the research team will enable it come out with realistic policies to address the situation.

We also take this opportunity to appeal to our brothers and sisters up North to exercise patience as the Government looks at all available clues in resolving the problem. This is not the time for anybody to play tribal or ethnic cards, which could be a threat to our national unity.

NORPRA has already made it clear that it is a non-political and tribal pressure group and we believe that they would continue to remain neutral without any affiliation to any political party or ethnic group.

As stated earlier, NORPRA has a genuine case but they should exercise all the patience to have the situation resolved.

source: Chronicle

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