Nana Kobina Nketsia IV, Paramount Chief of the Essikado Traditional Area in the Western Region said social protection policies are the fulcrum upon which the nation’s socio-economic development revolves around.
The chief said he fully supports government’s efforts of extending social protection policies to many communities across the country, saying it is the pivot of the sustenance of the vulnerable.
Nana Nketsia IV made the remarks when the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Nana Oye Lithur paid a courtesy call on him at his palace at Essikado.
The minister was in the area as part of her four day official tour to the Western and Central Regions to register the aged and vulnerable people free of charge onto the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
The registration exercise targeted over 2,000 aged people in the Western Region and another 2,000 in the central region.
Some of the areas the minister and her entourage visited in the Western region included Ellembelle District, Essikado and the Shama District and later continued the exercise in Moree in the Abura-Asebu Kwamankese District and later rounded up at Winneba in the Effutu Municipal Assembly in the Central Region.
Oye Lithur had earlier on paid a courtesy on the Omanhene of the Eastern Nzema Traditional Area, Awulae Amihere Kpanyili lll at his palace at Atuobo.
According to Nana Nketsia IV, social protection mechanisms are the only government policies that solely target the vulnerable and extreme poor people in the society and this must be sustained and strengthened, adding that any government which neglects the vulnerable people in the society destroys the very pillar of society.
He however, pointed out that the numerous pro-poor policies implemented by the government is very crucial and needed to be sustained.
For her part the minister reiterated that as part of her mandate, she was in the area to roll on the aged and vulnerable people onto the NHIS free of charge.
Oye Lithur said government believes that putting up mechanisms to ensure that the aged have easy and free access to healthcare, would go a long way to ensure that they leave in comfort.
She noted that government would continuously expand the numerous social protection policies such as the Livelihood Empowerment against Poverty (LEAP), the NHIS, the EBAN Elderly Welfare card and the Labour Intensive Public Works and the School Feeding programs to cushion the aged and vulnerable in the society.
From Essikado, Oye Lithur and her team continued to Shama where she was welcomed to the palace by the chief of Shama, Nana Wurampa Nkwantakese and his elders.
The chief commended the government for the extension of the free NHIS to the aged in his jurisdiction and appealed for more.
He also took the opportunity to appeal to the minister to help facilitate for more developments in the area such as the construction of roads and a hospital among others.
Oye Lithur assured that she would extend their appeal to the sector ministers in charge of the specific developmental needs they appealed, pointing out that she was hopeful their requests would be met.