I’ll work to achieve vision of govt - Syme

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong

He also thanked all those who welcomed his nomination and gave the assurance that he would work diligently in with the regional minister to achieve the vision of the government for the region.

Sharing his plans on the development agenda for the region with Daily Graphic, Mr Syme said more than 80 per cent of the people in the region were poor so he would work with the substantive minister to re-engineer policies that would ensure job creation for the youth and minimise rural-urban migration.

Considering his experience as a former District Chief Executive (DCE) for Builsa for 12 years, he added that he would in partnership with the minister institute programmes and projects that would attract non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to the region.

The NGOs, he explained, would partner the regional coordinating council and the district assemblies in their developmental programmes since the internally generated funds and the District Assembly Common Fund alone were insufficient for undertaking development programmes.

Outlining some of his achievements as DCE and the collective vision for the Upper East Region, the nominee said he implemented the Community-Based Development Project, which was piloted by UNICEF and later replicated across the country.

He also pioneered and facilitated the establishment of the Builsa Community Bank (BUCOBANK), which is one of the leading community-based banks in the country currently.

Mr Syme, who is an auditor by profession, further noted that as acting DCE for the Kasena-Nankana District, he controlled and mitigated the upsurge of intra-ethnic conflict in the Mirigu-Kandiga area in 1993 and added the area was  currently peaceful.

He stated that he actively promoted and supported the implementation of the onchocerciasis-freed zone development programme which saw the successful execution of infrastructure projects in the health and sanitation sectors, including feeder roads and a bridge over the Sissili River to link the ‘overseas’ area with the Upper East Region.

 Mr Syme also intimated that working in concert with the regional minister, he would continue to liaise with traditional authorities and assembly members and constantly dialogue with youth groups to fashion out programmes that would promote closer relationship among the people  in order to eliminate the possibility of conflict.

Mr Syme, recognising that he would not be working in isolation if approved by the Parliament, stressed that he would partner the regional minister in all things with the objective of improving the lives of the people in the region and bringing development to the area.

The nominee was a member of the Committee for the Defence of the Revolution (CDR) from 1990-1992, and was appointed Builsa District Chief Executive from 1992-2000.

Mr Syme, who before his appointment was an Assistant Auditor-General, is married with three children and hails from the Builsa District of the Upper East Region.

He started his primary education at Sandema and proceeded to the Sakasaka Experimental School.  He moved back to Sandema Middle Boarding School and later enrolled at the Saint Charles Secondary School in Tamale.

He proceeded to Nsien Secondary School, Axim and later moved to Tema Secondary School.

In 1983, he graduated as an accountant from the then Institute of Professional Studies, now University for Professional Studies, from where he joined the Ghana Audit Service till 1990 when he was appointed as the PNDC District Secretary for Builsa in the Rawlings led administration.

In 1992 when there was a transition to constitutional rule, Mr Syme was again appointed DCE for Builsa. After the first term in office, he was reappointed and stayed in office till the year 2000.

He returned to the Audit Service where he rose through the ranks to become an Assistant Auditor-General in charge of Administration and Human Resource; a position he held until his current appointment as Deputy Upper East Regional Minister designate.

As a DCE, he performed many roles. Similarly, at the Audit Service, some of the assignments he performed included  undertaking special audit duties in many district assemblies, and other external assignments in the Ghana Mission, Malabo, Equatorial Guinea in 2007 and special audit assignments in the Ghana Mission in London, the United Kingdom.

Mr Mark Owen Woyongo, MP for Navrongo Central and Minister for Defence, spoke highly of the Deputy Upper East Regional Minister designate.

"He's been a cadre for a long time and knows the terrain very well. In my estimation, with his background as an auditor, he will blend very well with the regional minster in administering the region." Mr Woyongo, the immediate past Regional Minister said about the nominee.

Story by Benjamin Glover & Sebastian Syme