President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has appealed to traditional rulers in the Upper East Region to support the security agencies to curb the spate of smuggling of the government subsidised fertilisers to neighbouring countries of Burkina Faso and Togo.
The President, who made the call at a durbar of the chiefs and people of the Navrongo traditional area on Wednesday during his two-day working visit to the region, told the chiefs that it was very worrisome to allow some handful of miscreants to smuggle the products which was meant for farmers outside the country.
He told Ghanaians especially the traditional rulers to be mindful that it was the tax of every Ghanaian that was used by the government to procure the fertilisers to be subsidised at 50 per cent to the farmers.
Whilst calling on the traditional rulers and people in the region to give the security agencies the maximum support to deal with the phenomenon, the President also impressed upon the chiefs not to hesitate to expose any security personnel or a civil servant who engages in the smuggling.
President Akufo-Addo commended the Regional Minister, Ms Paulina Patience Abayage and the security agencies for working hard to arrest many of the criminals.
He said as a step forward to help deal with the emerging issue of terrorism, there had been the increase of military presence and further entreated the traditional rulers and the people in the region to give the security agencies the maximum co-operation to help prevent tourists from destabilising the peace and security the nation was enjoying.
The Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, stated that farmers in the region were making good use of the Planting for Food and Jobs which he stressed had contributed to ensuring household food security.
He said the intervention had also contributed significantly to the generation of jobs for the youth and women groups who used to migrate to the southern sectors in search of non-existent jobs and underscored the need for everybody to protect the intervention.
During this farming season alone, the security agencies in the region with the support of the Regional Security Council had impounded many vehicles loaded with the subsidised fertilisers being smuggled across to neighbouring countries namely Burkina Faso and Togo.
FROM SAMUEL AKAPULE, NAVRONGO