Chiefs from the Upper West region have expressed their appreciation to the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, for the implementation of his manifesto pledges and several other pro-poor policies over the last 18 months, the period of stay of the President’s government in office.

Speaking on behalf of the Chiefs from Jirapa, Sissala East, Sissala West, Nadowli/Kaleo, Daffiama-Bussie-Issah and Wa East, on Wednesday, 25th July, 2018, which marked the end of the President’s 2-day visit to the region, Naa Puowele Karbo III, Paramount Chief of the Lawra Traditional Area indicated that the decision taken by President Akufo-Addo to interact with them is a show of “the respect and love you have for chiefs and the institution of chieftaincy at large.”

He added that “we are very elated, Your Excellency, for upgrading Lawra, Jirapa, and Tumu districts into municipality status, as part of your commitment to bring democratic governance to the level of our people.

“It was a timely move, and it is anticipated that they will serve as growth poles to propel development within our corridor, and, further, pull along surrounding districts socio-economically, we are proud of you.”

The Lawra Naa also commended the Akufo-Addo government for the commitment, speed and zeal with which it is rolling out its campaign promises to better the lives of the citizenry.

“They include the 1-district-1-factory, 1-village-1-dam, Free SHS, Planting for Food and Jobs policies, and also creating employment for the youth through the Nation Builders Corps (NABCO). I am most delighted with the support for cashew plantations, which will facilitate afforestation, giving that the desert is fast closing in on the region, as well as means of empowering the population economically,” he said.

The Lawra Naa continued, “We also commend the other interventions being implemented by your government to stimulate the economy. These include tax reliefs, electricity tariff reductions, and abolishing of so-called nuisance taxes to ease pressure on business, and bring relief to ordinary Ghanaians. This is, without doubt, the quality leadership required for the attainment of your vision of a “Ghana Beyond Aid.”

He, thus, urged all qualified youth in the Upper West Region “to take advantage of all the above-mentioned policies of government to improve on their socio-economic status, and, thereby, stem the massive migration of our youth down-south in search of non-existent jobs.”

As traditional leaders, Naa Puowele Karbo III assured President Akufo-Addo that they will continue to give their candid advice and support, and partner government in the implementation of policy initiatives to bring about the much-needed development of Ghana.

“It is common knowledge that our people are predominantly farmers, operating within a one-season rainfall regime, usually followed by a very long dry season. It means that, for half the year, our people have nothing to do, leading to large-scale migration to other parts of the country,” he said.

The 1-village-1-dam policy, he added, is “the solution to all-year agricultural production in the region. We are anxiously awaiting the rollout in the selected communities in our region. With regards to the rural industrialization of our region, we see the current efforts to promote the cultivation of cashew, shea and mango as critical to its takeoff.”

The Lawra Naa urged President Akufo-Addo to create a Shea Development Board, with a renewed mandate to develop the shea industry, and indicated that the Northern Development Authority could see to its realization.

He also appealed to Government to construct the Hamile-Nandom-Lawra, Han-Zilli-Gwollu, Wa-Tumu-Jefesi, Hamile-Tumu, and Jirapa-Nandom roads.

“The construction of these roads will trigger the social and economic transformation of our areas. We are mindful of the challenges confronting government. But we wish to appeal to government for the construction of these roads into 1st class roads for improved accessibility, which will promote commercial activities in the region,” he added.