By: Fred Yaw Sarpong (Daily Express)
The Ashanti Regional Minister, Hon. Samuel Sarpong has decided to take drastic measures against the District Chief Executives (DCEs) in the region, who have failed to work to improve their districts and the region as a whole.
The Minister said he has realized that while some DCEs are working, others too are not doing their work well.
“Even though the DCEs have been bringing their report to me every day, I have decided to visit them unannounced to see whether they are truly working,” said the Minister, adding that when he does that all the DCEs will be on their toes to deliver.
The Minister disclosed this to Daily Express in an interview in Kumasi.
“In fact as of now, no DCE is aware of my visit. They were informed of my visit during my first round. But then I decided not to inform them during my second round. The purpose is to ascertain the kind of works they are doing,” he disclosed.
“I believe in the surprise visit because I want to see the reality on the ground. If inform them on my coming, some of them will pretend to be working. If I found out that you have done the right thing, then I will not have problems with you,” adding that the initiative is to make sure the DCEs are working.
“But if I found out you are not working, then I will put that in my recommendation to the President,” said the Minister.
He stated that the response from his trip is encouraging, even though he realized some of the DCEs are working while others are not.
He specifically mentioned New Edubiase, where the DCE has abandoned the available bungalow meant for him. He said the DCE travel from far distance to work every day and that does not help the development of the district.
The Minister said because the bungalow has not been use, the whole place was dirty and weeds grown all over.
“I have written to the DCE and ordered the bungalow to be immediately renovated within one month, so that the DCE will use it because it goes against the district. Also, is to save revenue for the district,” he added.
Apart from that he realized the hospital in the District need doctors. According to him for the past five years only one doctor serves the whole district. Meanwhile the district has made available accommodations for additional doctors.
“The district needed three doctors and for the past five year the regional health directorate has not been able to help,” he noted.
He stated that with the help of the Regional Health Directorate, additional two doctors have been immediately sent to the district hospital.
Ashanti Region has 30 districts and out of the figure, the minister has visited 15 districts. He noted that out of the 15 districts visited, he noticed that three DCEs are not doing well. “I make sure that I put things in order in these three districts,’ he added.
Even though he did not mention the districts, he called on the DCEs to be up and doing in their activities. “If they failed to improve I have no option than to recommend to the President to change them,” said the Minister.
One area which is affecting the region is the illegal mining (Galamsey) activities in some of the districts. “To be very honest with you the galamsey activities is creating a big problem for the region,” he reiterated.
“At first it was rumored all over that there were some big men who were behind the galamsey activities in the region. I came to realize that the rumored was true,’ said the minister.
For instance, he mentioned Nkawie in Amansie Central where the galamsey operators have destroy a huge acres of forest in the area.
According to him with the help of task force they were able to retrieve 15 excavated together with pumping machines and also arrested 10 Ghanaians and two Chinese immigrants.
“I have ordered the Police to do thorough investigation and also asked the forestry commission to count all the timbers they were able to pulled down and come out with the costs on them,” said the Minister.
“We are also going to allow them to reclaim the land they have destroyed. After that we will think of imposing some fund on them and then we will release their machines to them,’ Hon. Sarpong stated.
He said their preliminary investigation shows that there are some chiefs who are also behind the illegal mining operations in the region.
“But I have promise to point out to those chiefs to stop. If they failed to stop, then I will publish their names,’ he warned.
“I have nothing against any DCE. We have to work to the development of our region which effect also help to lift the image of Ghana,’ he urged the DCEs in the region.