Declaration Three Northern Regions Investment Zones
2008-05-22 19:38:19This article has been read 935 times.Opinion leaders from the three regions have made a passionate appeal to government, to declare northern Ghana as an investment zone. They have also asked that the three regions be given preferential treatment, in the form of tax reliefs, to companies which are willing to invest there.
The opinion leaders made this appeal, at the 2nd Peace Building Conference, held in Accra, for citizens of the three northern regions.
The conference was organized and sponsored by the Africa Peace Building Club (APBC), a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO).
To achieve medium and long term development goals for the north, they asked government to declare the northern part of the country, a special economic zone, whilst sourcing for a tax source to be created to fund it.
Dr. Sontim Tobiga, a parliamentary candidate of the People’s National Convention (PNC), for the Nabdam constituency in the Upper East Region, urged the government to expedite action on the proposed Northern Development Fund (NDF), which was intended to give the area a face-lift.
He, therefore, commended government for taking the bold step towards the development of the north, to bridge the gap between the north and south.
Dr. Tobiga appealed to Ghanaians, especially people from the area, to commit themselves to the success of the fund, by contributing ideas, being supportive, and discharging their duties honestly, and ethically.
“However, no one, even the government, seems to know how much is required to transform the economy, and society of northern Ghana,” he said.
Dr.Tobiga further admitted that these gaps could be filled in, when parliament enacts a legislation to set up the fund.
Dr. Tobiga, who is also a legal practitioner, noted that there were other mundane issues, which cannot easily be dealt with, even at the legislation stage, including the project(s) government would want to put initiate, to achieve its medium and long term development goals, and the cost involved.
Speaking on the topic “Involving a Northern Development Forum”, the former Chief Advisor to the Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. A. O. Abudu, encouraged people of northern descent, to create several northern sub-forums, both along ethnic and professional lines among others, to help push their agenda forward.
He asked the administrators of the Northern Development Forum (NDF), to set a central secretariat, among which duties would be to keep a tally and related information, such as addresses, officials, phone and other contact channels, of all the sub-forums operating in Ghana, and beyond.
Dr.Abudu thus challenged the NDF, to set up sub-committees on issues such as health, economics, education and agriculture, to deliberate and present its recommendations for further consideration, and action to be taken.
“There would always be a highly publicized northern position, on various topics of developmental impact, being negotiated with various sources, both in and out of government channels, and Parliament”, he added.
A former Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Dr. Gheysika Agambila, said the youth could contribute to peace, by learning to be obedient and God-fearing.
This, he said, would enable them make meaningful contributions to the development of their communities.
In his welcome address, the Executive Director of the Africa Peace Building Club, Salam Ramani, called on politicians, traditional rulers and religious leaders, to channel much of resources into conflict prevention, as the nation prepares to go to the polls this year.
He also appealed to Ghanaians, who were fond of funding conflicts, to desist from this barbaric act.
To him, “such people are enemies of progress.”