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Streamlining of MASLOC will ensure transparency – Minister

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Mr Joseph Z. Amenowode, Volta Regional Minister, has said the revised micro credit and small loans scheme (MASLOC) is tailored to bring transparency and value for money devoid of partisan considerations.

He disclosed unpaid loans in the region amounted to about GH₵180,000 when the NDC administration took office and pledged that the defaulters would be prosecuted soon.

Mr Amenowode, who was speaking at a session to dissolve the Hohoe Municipal Assembly, said apart from prosecuting defaulters some related vehicles would be auctioned to defray the huge debt.

He said the procedures for the loan scheme were fraught with avoidable irregularities and the government could not allow such gross indiscipline and malfeasance to continue.

Mr Amenowode, also Member of Parliament for Hohoe South, cautioned beneficiaries of the loans that the scheme was a revolving one which had to be extended to others when previous recipients repay their loans.

“This is not free party money for distribution to party cohorts but targeted at cushioning small businesses to gain financial autonomy for socio-economic development, job and wealth creation,” he said.

On security, Mr Amenowode condemned the destruction of state property following a mishap involving a security officer at the Aflao border.

He called on citizens along the country’s eastern frontier with Togo to engage security personnel mounting the borders in healthy relationships.

The Regional Minister reminded citizens that security personnel were placed there to perform specific tasks and when there is a problem, there are other state institutions to handle those problems but not with violence and vengeance.

Mr Amenowode expressed disquiet about similar violent attacks on security men at the Wli and Leklebi border posts.

On cocoa and related smuggling menace, he was optimistic that the recent upward price hikes would stem the smuggling nuisance describing the total tonnage of the produce in 2009 as ‘pitiful’.

Mr Amenowode said the government was considering involving traditional authorities and other stakeholders in cocoa growing areas in key positions to in efforts to curb the menace of smuggling.

He appealed to the smugglers to change their attitudes or face the full rigours of the law.

Source: GNA

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