NDC will fulfil campaign promises - Mills

President John Evans Atta Mills on Saturday said the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) has not relented on its promises to build a prosperous Ghana. He said his administration was putting in place all the measures to ensure the smooth take-off of its development agenda. President Mills made this known in an address read on his behalf at a durbar to round off this year's celebration of the "Nye-Eye/Pra Afahye (Festival) of the chiefs and people of the Shama Traditional Area at Shama, in the Western Region. The theme for the celebration was "Dialogue, An Effective Tool for Unity, Peace, Stability and Development". President Mills said one of the policy goals of the NDC was to devise and implement a dynamic cultural development programme that recognize social and cultural unity in diversity as instrument for national cohesion. He said government would therefore ensure that the traditional authorities document their cultural heritage. The president said country's culture shall be the main streamed in the nation's social and economic development agenda. President Mills said the government was also sensitive to the plight of the electorate who gave it the mandate to manage the country's affairs and would not by any stretch of imagination undertake actions, which would inflict hardships on them. He said the production of petroleum would begin in 2010 and this would bring a lot of businesses into the country. "As much as we want to encourage investment and development, let us not engage in unprecedented sale of lands without recourse to the interest of future generations," he said. "Let us, for that matter tread cautiously as there is the likelihood that we shall be selling the lands without any proper planning for development projects." He said Parliament was helping to define policies and framework to govern the activities of all stakeholders in the oil and gas sector to promote and encourage accountable and transparent management of the oil revenue and its profitable use in national development. President Mills said the policies would also clarify any ambiguities such as national and local interests in the oil industry. "We shall ensure that the oil find will be beneficial and not a curse to the country's development, most especially among communities along the coast". President Mills assured people in the traditional area of government's commitment and dedication towards unity, reconciliation, peace and development. Nana Kweku Binnah 111, Omanhene of the Shama Traditional Area, appealed to the government to ensure that the Volta River Authority and the Takoradi Industrial Company pay royalties due to the district assembly for development purposes and establish a technical, agriculture and fishery centre in the area to train the youth. He appealed to the government to extend the school feeding programme to more schools in the area. Mr Gabriel Essilfie, Member of Parliament for the area and Miss Emelia Arthur, District Chief Executive, called for unity among the chiefs and people to enable development projects to go on unimpeded. Nene Kupalour, a divisional chief and Adontehene of Ada Traditional Area contributed 5,000 Ghana Cedis towards the festival. He spoke against the high incidence of chieftaincy disputes and litigations in the country. Nene Kupalour proposed that the Chieftaincy Act should be reviewed to enable the Minister of Chieftaincy Affairs to intervene in the numerous chieftaincy litigations in the country.