PRESENTATION ON THE STATE OF DEVELOPMENT OF THE SAGNARIGU MUNICIPALITY DELIVERED BY THE MUNICIPAL CHIEF EXECUTIVE HONOURABLE HAJIA MARIAM IDDRISU ON THE OCCASION OF THE MUNICIPAL MEET THE PRESS SERIES HELD ON THURSDAY 24TH OCTOBER, 2019 AT GNAT HALL, TAMALE
Municipal Coordinating Director and Staff of the Assembly,
Members of the Press,
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen;
Let me first of all extend a hand of greetings to you, our friends from the media, and all invited guests gathered here for today’s event. It is significant to state that this would be the first edition of a meet-the-press series ever held in the history of the Sagnarigu Municipality and I must express my gratitude to you for turning up in your numbers despite the slightly short notice.
As you already heard from the Municipal Co-ordinating Director on the purpose of the session, it gives us the opportunity to get information and appreciate the development interventions in terms of government programmes and projects being implemented over the period in our area.
I must indicate that the meet-the-press series serves as an ideal interactive platform to inform the general public about policies, programmes, activities and initiatives that have been completed, being undertaken or earmarked to commence in the municipality. The media definitely fits as the perfect disseminator of this information and it is no doubt that the media is assumed to be the Fourth (4th) arm of Government in Ghana
As a people centred government, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo President of the Republic of Ghana is very passionate about bringing everybody on board in the development discourse of our country towards the vision of a “Ghana beyond aid”. Meet-the-Press sessions is but one of the important approaches to relay critical information to the General Public as well as address certain concerns and clear some doubts
Members of the press before I deal with the various initiatives and programmes on-going in the Municipality, let me expose you a little to the background of the municipality:
BRIEF PROFILE OF SAGNARIGU MUNICIPALITY:
The Sagnarigu Municipality was one of the six created Assemblies in the Northern Region of Ghana in 2012. It was created out of the Tamale Metropolis by Legislative Instrument 2066 in the first half of the year 2012. The District was inaugurated as a functional entity on the 24th of June, 2012. On Thursday, 15th March 2018, the District by Legislative Instrument 2272 was elevated to a Municipality at an inauguration ceremony held at the forecourt of the Assembly.
The Municipality shares boundaries with Savelugu Municipal to the North, Tamale Metropolis to the South and East, Tolon to the West and Kumbungu to the North West.
Sagnarigu Municipal has 84 communities: 33 urban, 24 peri-urban and 27 rural. The mix bag of these classifications of communities indeed often present multi-faceted developmental challenges for both state and non-state actors to handle.
The population of the Municipality according to the 2010 Population and Housing Census (PHC), was recorded as 148,099 with 74,886 males of which 41,262 are above 18years and 73,213 females with 41,400 above 18years. This implies 51% males whiles females represent 49%.
Distinguished Chairman, may I at this juncture take you through the state of development within the various sectors of the socio – economic development of the municipality with emphasis on the flagship programmes of the government.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the media, education remains among the top most development priorities of government and attracts similar attention in our municipality as well. With 2 universities in our area; 2 colleges of education; 1 TVET, 4 public Senior High Schools; 76 junior high schools; 129 primary schools; and 124 Kindergatens, 28 Private JHS in the municipality is proudly endowed with appreciable numbers of institutions across all the levels of acquiring formal education.
Fellow pressmen/women, our Municipality had its share of the expansion of the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP) nationwide, since the inception of this government. Initially with 38 schools under the programme at the end of 2016, the government approved 36 more new schools bringing the total beneficiary schools to 74 in the Municipality, with an upgrade of the feeding cost per child from 0.80p in the past to GH₵1at present. The expansion has brought an additional 11,849 more children making a total of 25, 554 beneficiaries of the feeding programme in the Municipality. The Assembly has made request for more schools to be enrolled under the programme to increase enrolment and ensure retention in schools particularly schools in our rural communities.
At the secondary level, our four public senior high schools have experienced tremendous influx of students since the inception and implementation of the Free Senior High School Programme by government. Aiming at Access, Equity, and Quality, the Free SHS policy has come to make quality senior high education equitable and accessible to all, as enshrined in our constitution. Records have shown that the new entrants to our four senior high schools in Municipality as at the beginning of 2016/2017 academic year was 6,441. These numbers have shot up tremendously in each ensuing year as tabulated below.
|Academic year||Enrolment||Year –on – year % increase|
The huge enrolment numbers we are witnessing came with some accompanied infrastructural challenges in the schools however, government introduced the double track system in 2018/2019 academic year which will soon be a thing of the past since the Assembly is witnessing tremendous infrastructural development across all four senior high schools in the Municipality.
A summary of the projects are listed below as follows;
|SCHOOL||TYPE OF PROJECT||STATUS|
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, our basic schools also continue to receive a resource boost to enhance the quality of teaching and learning. The deficit for student furniture as at the start of 2017 was a pathetic 25,000 desks. From 2017 to date, a total of over 1,200 desks were distributed district–wide to cater for this deficit. These desks distributed at both the basic and SHS level may look very inadequate nonetheless, the Assembly in collaboration with the vibrant Municipal Education Directorate is making all efforts to ensure that this deficit is met. It is our expectation that about 2,000 desks will be supplied before the close of year.
Several other teaching and learning materials are also made available to basic schools over the years and these includes furniture for teachers, class registers, assorted books, computers, power generators to improve teaching and learning in the respective subject areas.
Distinguish press men and women, the Municipality with support from Yamoransa and Her Excellency the 2nd Lady of the Republic of Ghana constructed and furnished a 54-computer capacity ICT Lab at the Choggu Demonstration School to cater for about 3,826 students in schools within close proximity to the facilty. As we speak, the facility which is about 150 meters away from this venue, is currently in use to improve teaching and learning in the ICT field.
The Assembly is also sensitive to the plight of brilliant but needy students within the Municipality who need some support to climb the educational ladder. In response to this, GHS61,000 was allocated this academic year to cater for about 100 tertiary students. GHS25,000.00 and GHS37,000.00 was equally made available in this regard for 2017 and 2018 respectively.
Furthermore, the decentralisation of the Ghana Scholarship Secretariat to the MMDA level saw 41 students successfully benefit from a support grant of GHS80,050.65 to further their education.
In order to improve access to education, the Municipality from 2017 has benefitted from the completion of 13 basic school classroom block projects and are currently in use. Furthermore, 6 similar classroom block projects are ongoing in various communities from various funding sources. Also, 3unit classroom school block projects have been recently awarded to contractors to be constructed from the Internally Generated Funds (IGF) of the Assembly. All these projects are aimed at making quality education easily accessible to all children of school going age.
The Assembly also attracted support from ActionAid Ghana and constructed a Sagnarigu Girls Model School block with ancilliary facilities including urinals, toilets and pad changing rooms at Sagnarigu-Kukuo. The Girls model school concept instituted by the Assembly aims at increasing girls enrolment in school through model schools to cater for the specialised needs of young girls in order to retain them during school periods.
Frantic efforts are being made together with the Ministry of Health for the Municipality to have a hospital. Nonetheless, the Assembly since 2017 has undertaken the construction of clinics at Kogni, Shishegu, Zagyuri, Katariga and these projects are at various levels of construction from different funding sources. This is in addition to the completion of the Gburimah CHPS which is currently in use whiles another project has just been awarded for the construction of a clinic at Naluro Estate.
We were also blessed to have had the First Lady of the Republic, Her Excellency Rebecca Akufo Addo facilitate the construction of a Health Center at Nyanshegu at the beginning of 2018.
Beside these projects the Assembly donated 10 number hospital beds to the district health directorate to help resource some of the health facilities.
I must confess that we have a very vibrant Municipal Health Management Team (MHMT) which is co-ordinating the health care delivery system in the Municipality.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Media, as an agrarian based economy, the implementation of the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) programme is useful for the development of agriculture in our municipality. As we are all aware the Planting for Food and Jobs programme is one of the government’s flagship initiatives targeted at revamping the agricultural sector and improving food production and security as well as create jobs. I am happy to mention that the municipality over the years has had its fair share of the national cake which comes along with the implementation of the PFJ across the country.
With respect to seeds (maize, rice and soybean) given farmers, a total of 49,224 of the seeds were given to 609 farmers (601 males and 8 females). These figures for both seeds and beneficiary farmers shot up tremendously in 2019 with 63,956 seeds allotted to 6,490 farmers (5,667 males and 823 females). This represents a 965.6% increase in the allocation of seeds and 30% in the number of beneficiaries.
In order to cater for the increasing number of farmers under the programme, more fertiliser was made readily available to them to aid them increase their yield. In 2017, 3,999 bags of fertiliser made available to the famers as against 47,150 bags and 111,782 in 2018 and 2019 respectively. This represents a 137% increase between 2018 and 2019.
Distinguished pressmen and women, it is heart-warming to know that the youth (15-35 years) are actively engaged in agriculture under the PFJ programme. This is evident on the bases that 416 of the youth were engaged under the programmed in 2017 as against 1,953 in 2018 and 7,395 in 2019. This represents a difference of 6,979 between the inception year, 2017 and current year 2019.
The Planting for Food and Jobs programme also has a training component which trains selected farmers on post-harvest losses and other relevant topics.
The Municipality also attracted a Government of Ghana project (One District One Warehouse) for the construction of a warehouse at Wovogu, which is near completion and would serve as storage facility for harvested agricultural produce.
ONE VILLAGE ONE DAM PROJECT:
Ladies and Gentlemen, closely linked to agricultural development is the One Village One Dam project launched by the government. It is one of the flagship development initiatives with concentration on the provision of community dams for every village. These dams are intended to serve multiple purposes such as domestic use, animal watering and farm irrigation among others. For the 2018/19 fiscal year, 20 dams were awarded for construction in the Municipality. Out of this number, construction of 17 of these projects have begun and are at various levels of completion. The beneficiary communities are Dungu; Kpane; Sanga; Garizegu; Datalung; Kukpehi; Ngarun; Dugushegu. The rest include Fuo; Nanton-Kpawumo, Kanvili-Kpawumo, Tuunayili; Wovoguma, Kulaa, Gbalahi, Kpuntariga, Gbanyamni. The other beneficiary communities for which construction is yet to begin for various reasons are Gburimah, Yilonayili and Katariga.
The contractors for the on-going projects will soon come back to site to complete works after the rainy season.
WATER AND SANITATION:
Regarding sanitation improvement, the Assembly with support from the Ministry of Special Initiatives is undertaking some initiatives to promote Water, Hygiene and Sanitation (WASH). Currently the construction of 7 institutional latrines with mechanized boreholes are ongoing at Fuo, Gbanyamni, Wovogu, Tuunayili, Sagnarigu, Parig village (Old Airport) and Kogni.
In addition, an assessment has been made by the same Ministry for the construction of solar-powered water systems at Fuo, Kalpohin, Nanton-Kpawumo and Gumani.
The Assembly in close collaboration with the Jospong Group of Companies is about to commence the construction of an Integrated Waste Recovery Park at Gbalahi landfill site. This will involve the installation of a 400 tonnes/ per day capacity integrated recycling and organic compost plant and sewage treatment plant. Feasibility for the project has been completed and the facility upon completion is expected to reduce the amount of solid and liquid waste generated in the Municipality. Apart from waste reduction, the facility would also serve as a source of revenue to individuals or groups who would be engaged in collecting the waste to be recycled.
Chairman, significant numbers of our teeming youth have been provided safe havens under the youth in afforestation and the Nation Builders Corp (NABCO) and Youth Employment Agency (YEA) programmes being rolled out by government.
A total of four hundred and fifty-eight (458) youth comprising of four hundred and five (405) males and fifty-three (53) females are engaged to work in various stages of land preparations, nurturing of seedlings, forest guarding, supervision etc. Selection of beneficiaries was done out of 14 zones across the Municipality, and so far 15, 416 tree seedlings have been planted in 17 communities.
NABCO is one of the flagship programmes of the government being rolled out purposely to cater for the teeming unemployed graduated in the Ghanaian society and 100,000 youth have been engaged in the skill-based employment avenues. At the Municipality level, 1,853 personnel are benefitting from the 7 models i.e. Revenue Ghana; Digitize Ghana; Feed Ghana; Civic Ghana; Enterprise Ghana; Educate Ghana; and Heal Ghana. So far, these personnel have been engaged
Ladies and Gentlemen, the Youth Employment Agency (YEA) is also a programme aimed at equally providing job opportunities for our abled youth. In the Sagnarigu Municipality a total of 128 youth since 2017 have been engaged in three (3) modules namely youth in sports, community protection personnel and Arabic Instructors.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the Municipality has enjoyed the award significant road contracts within the last two years, to open up, reshaping, rehabilitation and surfacing of roads in the Municipality. The Municipality’s growth in terms of human settlement and business keeps growing hence the need for roads to be opened up and older roads put in good shape. Government through the Ministry of Roads and Highways has awarded contracts for the grading and rehabilitation of a total 49.75 kilometres stretch of roads in the Municipality. These kilometres are distributed along the roads such as the Fuo-Kanvilli third ring road, Fuo Community, Nyanshegu, Kpalsi, Wurishe and Choggu Yapalsi among others. In addition, smaller periodic maintenance projects have also been earmarked to be carried out soon and they include the construction of culverts, gravelling and re-gravelling works and the construction of walkways including one on the NOBISCO- Modern City –Main road stretch, construction of 1No. single 2.5m x 2.5m Box Culvert on Dimala road, regraveeling of Kpalsi main road section 6, upgrading of earth- gravel surface of Fuo area roads phase 2 among others.
GHANA SECONDARY CITIES SUPPORT PROGRAM (GSCSP)
The Ghana Secondary Cities Support Programme (GSCSP) is a five (5) year World Bank Programme intends to improve on urban service delivery and management. The programme is to benefit twenty (25) Municipalities in Ghana on performance for results basis which Sagnarigu Municipality is part.
The Sagnarigu Municipal Assembly selected the Construction of 1.55km road and 750m storm drain in Ward K for implementation in 2019 under the GSCSP.
Other projects for the subsequent years (2020- 2023) are
Construct a comprehensive community market of 88- Unit market lockable stores, 64- Unit stalls, 2No. Banking halls, Butchers’ shop, Kindergarten, Clinic, 350m paved lorry park and the market area, Develop
Nobisco Forest into an eco-tourism site and 20 acres industrial park with 2km road network, 60 streetlights and electric lines for artisans,
Rehabilitate 0.9km BATCO- Sagnarigu road with walk ways, 0.9 side drains, bicycle lane, tree planting (200) and 20No. streetlight
Rehabilitate 1.64km T- Poly- Gbolo Kpalsi road with walk ways, 0.9m side drains, bicycle lane, tree planting (360) and streetlights (36)
Rehabilitate 1.2kmT- Poly- Sagnarigu Mkt road with walk ways, 0.9m side drains, bicycle lane, tree planting (240) and streetlights (24)
Reconstruct 2.0km Kalpohin main road with walk ways, 0.9m side drains bicycle lane, tree planting (400) and 40No. streetlights with road furniture
Rehabilitate 2.80km Sagnarigu- Shishegu road with walk ways, 0.9m side drains, bicycle lane, tree planting (550), streetlights (56) and road furniture
The Assembly over the past two years has mounted a total over 2000 LED street lamps along many principal streets within the Municipality. Whiles some of the old lamps were replaced by the LED Lamps, others were new infrastructure such as the erection and installation of the poles and lamps along Kamina Barracks to Tamale International Airport Junction and from the Regional Fire Service Office, Shishegu to Changnaayili.
This intervention has not only brightened up the Municipality, boosted business operations and improved road safety, but has also helped reduce the convenience for criminals to operate thereby reducing the occurrence of crime.
LOCAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT:
Ladies and Gentlemen, building a strong local economy is one of the key priorities of the Assembly. As young growing Municipality, we can only be self-reliant and chart our own development course by developing local businesses to empower the private sector and at the same time wider the base for the internal revenue generation. In line with this agenda, the Assembly has undertaken the construction of 32 number ground floor market stores at Sagnarigu-Kukuo. These stores when completed will be let out to business men and women to operate.
The Assembly was also lucky to attract a Government of Ghana project for the construction of 1 storey office for the Business Advisory Centre in the Municipality. The project would boost the capacity of the centre to be in a better position to train and offer relevant advisory services to local entrepreneurs for their growth.
Distinguished friends from the Media, Government has appreciated the role of the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme in alleviating poverty. As a result we took a bold step to expand the programme in order to have many more people living below the poverty line, to be catered for under the programme, bearing in mind the extra huge implementation cost on government. With an initial coverage of 12 communities at the start of 2008 with 687 beneficiaries, the expansion has captured an additional 12 new communities with 913 new beneficiaries making an overall total of 1,600 LEAP beneficiaries in the Municipality. The new communities are: Gbolo-Kplasi; Yongduni; Zagyuri; Dungu; Sugashee; Wayamba; Damankunyilli; Fuo; Taha; Gburimah; Wovogu; and Nantong Kpawumo. Currently the 62nd cycle payment is on-going with the release of funds in the sum of over GH₵221,000.00 from central government.
As an Assembly dedicated to ensuring that the marginalised are not left out in the development agenda. As a people-centered government led, the PWD share of the DACF was increased from 2% to 3%in 2017. Between this period till date, Persons with Disability (PWDs) in the Municipality have benefitted from various kinds of support to assist them and their families. In recent years, the Assembly, apart from support on the grounds of education and health, is ensuring that the support to the beneficiaries are such that they engage in a trade of business to become self-reliant and breadwinners. Over the years in question, some of the items the beneficiaries have been assisted with dstv satellites and a tv, provisions, fridges, metal containers, tri-cycles, grinding mill, mobile money credit among others. These items were given on the grounds that they are to be used for business purposes.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Media, let me seize this opportunity to kindly touch briefly on the upcoming referendum that has made the airwaves for some weeks now. As we may be all aware, 17th December, 2019 has been scheduled by the Electoral Commission to organise District Assembly elections, Unit Committee election and a Referendum.
The Referendum is in fulfilment of the Constitutional requirement for electorates to approve or reject a provision of Article 55(3) connection with the election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives on partisan basis.
The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana stipulates that 40% of registered and qualified voters must turn out to vote and 75% of the votes cast must be in favour of the question put by the constitution.
Furthermore, Article 243(1) is not an entrenched clause hence, it would be amended in Parliament to enable the election of MMDCEs on the basis of Universal Adult Suffrage.
Distinguished press men and women, invited guests, ladies and gentlemen, I believe I have given you some adequate information of the state of development in the Sagnarigu Municipality from the various development interventions as displayed. This of course could not have been achieved but for the collaborations, contributions and support of all stakeholders and most importantly you our friends from the media. I will seize this opportunity to kindly plead with you to help promote the development we desire by putting up concrete news, stories and reports disseminated to the general public. You our cherished media personnel have the power to contribute towards development by being the eyes, ears and mouth of the both the government and the people
I thank all of you for the attention.
GOD BLESS GHANA,
GOD BLESS SAGNARIGU MUNICIPALITY!!!!!!!!!!