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General News
Govt is not "Father Christmas" -JH Mensah 10/11/2007
Ghanaians have been asked to stop depending on the government for subsidies, because the government is not ‘Father Christmas’.

Mr. J. H. Mensah said this at a two-day national consensus-building dialogue on a long-term development plan for Ghana opened at Takoradi on Wednesday.

The National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) organised the seminar under the theme "Planning and Developing Ghana''s Settlement Towards A Middle Income Status".

Speaking at the function, Mr Mensah, who is Chairman of NDPC, said the attitude of the Ghanaian to depend on the government as "Father Christmas" should be looked at critically.

He said for example, people had to pay realistic prices for oil and fuel since, "We have allowed a lot of public service to decay because we are not paying realistic prices".

Mr Mensah said, "If we do not pay realistic prices the thermal plant would suffer, adding that, "We have been doing this paying lesser prices for public services and therefore pile up debts".

He said, "We should not deceive ourselves with this kind of attitude" and described the attitude as bogus socialism".

Mr Mensah said farmers had to be empowered with more modern technology to increase their productivity and wealth to improve the economy.

He indicated that Pwalugu in the Northern Region is a tomato growing area but does not have storage facilities to preserve the tomatoes for long.

Mr Mensah said, "We want people to be practical so that we can move from the low level of productivity to the middle-level income status"

Mrs Mary Chinery-Hesse, Chief Presidential Advisor, called on the participants to come out with ideas to build a better Ghana saying the development of the country is not a political issue.

She advised Ghanaians to participate in the development of the country to build a self-reliant nation.

She said the country has allowed the railway system to deteriorate.

Mr Abubakar Sadiqque Boniface, Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, said the government would facilitate access to land for the low-income population to enable them put up their own houses.

He said the government would also assemble and allocate land to reduce overcrowding in slums and informal settlements and provide for new household formation.

Mr Boniface said in order to meet the housing challenges in the country, the government would establish and maintain a sustainable housing process, which would enable all Ghanaians to secure tenure within a safe and healthy environment and viable communities

He said this would be done in a manner that would make a positive contribution to a democratic and integrated society, within the shortest possible time frame.

Mr Boniface said the ultimate goal of the country''s shelter policy was to provide adequate, decent and affordable housing to satisfy the needs of Ghanaians.


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