Mr Emmanuel Victor Smith has handed-over officially as the Eastern Regional Minister to his successor, Ms Helen Adwoa Ntoso, at a brief ceremony in Koforidua on Monday.
Mr Smith welcomed Ms Ntoso and urged her to put her feet down to track the major challenges confronting the region.
He mentioned illegal mining and lumbering, invasion and unlawful acts of Fulani herdsmen, chieftaincy disputes and increase in road accidents as some of the major issues bothering the region.
He said: “People will force to do their own thing to hamper the security and development of the region but be tough, else, they will try all they could to influence you to divert your focus on your job.”
The out-going Minister charged his successor to do the right thing so that at all times development would get to the door steps of the people.
Mr Smith urged Ms Ntoso not to be perturbed about media reportage against her, saying, “Some of the press might even disturb your peace but so long as you are doing the right thing do not be disturbed about what they write about you.”
He wished God’s blessings and strength for his successor and also called on staff of the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) to offer her the maximum cooperation to enable her to effectively implement government’s Better Ghana Agenda policies.
Mr Smith also expressed appreciation to the Regional Security Council (REGSEC), staff of RCC and heads of departments for helping him to do his job as regional Minister.
“I want to be proud of you for giving your best cooperation for the Better Ghana Agenda; I am not going out of the country, I will still be around and I will not forget about you, the same way I know you will not also forget about me.”
Ms Ntoso is to start work immediately as the substantive Minister of the Eastern Region and in her address she expressed appreciation to Mr Smith and members of the REGSEC for the warm welcome given her.
She said it was not by accident that she was made the Regional Minister but that it was God’s own appointed time.
Ms Ntoso reminded the REGSEC and the staff of RCC about the President’s call on officials not to be desk officers but field workers, stressing that, she was a field worker, who had come to ensure that people of the region, had a feel of the Better Ghana Agenda.
“I am a firm and fair type of person and when there is the need to be both I will be; a lot has been done to move the region forward but there is still more to be done and so I avail myself for the work,” she said.
The new Regional Minister appealed for collaboration from the REGSEC and all the staff of the RCC in order to work effectively and efficiently to make the living standards of the people better.
“I appreciate good criticisms and advise; my doors are open to everyone who would want to help me work to pursue the advancement of the Better Ghana Agenda,” she added. GNA