From Samuel Agbewode
The Akatsi North District has strategised to promote the rapid development of the area, as it celebrates the 4th anniversary of the creation of the district, which would be used to showcase achievements over the past four years.
The Assembly would also use the 4th Anniversary celebration to promote the rich cultural heritage of the people that has helped in the promotion of peace, unity, as well as improved socioeconomic activities.
It is also to market the tourism potentials in the district to attract investors and tourists to improve on the Internally Generated Fund (IGF) to enable the Assembly carry out more development projects.
Addressing the 2nd Ordinary Meeting of the Assembly at the district capital, Ave-Dakpa, the District Chief Executive for the area, Mr. James Gunu, noted that the creation of the district was one of the important developments in the history of the people, because it had helped in bringing the much-needed development to the people since its creation.
Mr. Gunu, who was very delighted at the numerous developments achieved over the past four years, commended the chiefs, assembly members, religious leaders and the staff of the Assembly for their hard work and cooperation that culminated in the current developments being experienced in the area, and assured the people that more development projects were being executed.
The DCE noted that the district was endowed with a lot of resources which could be harnessed to fully benefit the people, particularly, in the areas of tourism and agriculture, saying the necessary efforts would be made to ensure that local resources would be put to effective use to develop the numerous socioeconomic potential.
Mr. Gunu, at this juncture, stressed that one major tourism potential in the District was the crocodile pond at Ave-Dakpa, for which the Assembly was putting in place measures to develop.
He, therefore, proposed the formation of both male and female football teams with the names “The Forest Crocodiles” for the males, and “Crocodile Ladies” for the females to help in marketing the crocodile pond and the District.
The crocodile pond, which is being developed, according to the DCE, would be named after the late Prof. J. E. A Mills and would be called Atta Mills Crocodile Pond, as way of honouring the late President, because it was during his regime that the Akatsi North District was created.
Mr. Gunu continued that the Assembly would continue to play a leading role in development activities in the area, and that was the reason why the Assembly came up with “Operation One Project, One Month”, which was aimed at completing and inaugurating at least one project every month in its communities which was progressing steadily.
The DCE explained that the project to complete and inaugurate one project in a month was a development strategy, dubbed “triple jump” development skills and tools, which was ‘hop, step and jump’, to ensure that the development needs of the people were properly addressed, which was in the development plan of the District.
Mr. Gunu pointed out that, every Assembly, to achieve its development target, would largely depend on the support it receives from the people, particularly, in honouring their tax obligations.
He revealed that the Assembly budgeted to collect GH¢122,943 tax in 2016, and as at 31st May 2016, a total of GH¢48,344.53 was collected, which was a clear indication that the people were paying their taxes.
He, therefore, commended the people for paying their taxes regularly, stressing that local governance largely depends on the internally generated funds for development, and that development at the local level would only become meaningful, if the people live up to their tax responsibilities, and asked those who have not been paying taxes to turn a new leaf and support ongoing development activities in the area.
The DCE said the taxes being paid were properly used to provide the development needs of the people, such as the building of health facilities, educational infrastructure, District Assembly’s own initiated School Feeding Programme, which he noted, was fast attracting more children to basic schools in the area, and urged parents to take advantage of the programme to send their wards to school.
Mr. Gunu said the Assembly had taken up the issue of agriculture in the District more seriously to ensure that it becomes very attractive to the people, especially, the youth, to enable them to produce enough to feed the people in the area and beyond, as well as generate more income for them.
He said, as part of efforts to promote agriculture, the Assembly has developed a programme to subsidise fertiliser for farmers to solve the problem of non-availability that characterises farming activities in the area and which would no longer be experienced during farming seasons.
He announced that the District was promoting irrigation farming, through the use of a dam at Ave-Afiadenyigba, to encourage farmers to go into all-year farming, particularly, in the area of vegetable cultivation, which has an existing market, and would definitely boost the income generation of the people, and improve on their standard of living.
The Akatsi DCE announced that the District Assembly had established a Local Economic Development Fund (LED) to assist petty traders in the District to expand their business activities.
He also stated that the Management Committee formed to disburse the Fund has not started the disbursements, and when started would definitely help boost business activities in the district.
The Assembly, as part of its policy to promote local governance and to ensure transparency, invited chiefs and opinion leaders to the meeting, which saw a fruitful discussion that mostly bordered on how to promote the development of the Assembly rapidly in the near future, as it celebrates its 4th anniversary, and called for the strengthening of the existing cooperation between the various stakeholders and the Assembly.