Story: Samuel Duodu, Sunyani
SIXTY-FIVE armed robbery cases, including highway and fuel filling station attacks, were recorded in the Brong Ahafo Region during which cash and property running into millions of cedis were seized from the victims last year.
During the same period, 60 drug related cases, 27 rape incidents and 103 defilement cases were also recorded.
The Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, who disclosed this in Sunyani also recalled with regret the unfortunate and dastardly incident which occurred at Atronie last Easter Sunday, where the Administrator of the Goaso Government Hospital, the late Anthony Yeboah-Boateng, lost his life in a mob action.
"In fact, the incident tarnished the enviable image of the region and I wish to take the opportunity to commend the Regional Police Command for the efforts made to arrest the perpetrators for prosecution,” he added.
Addressing the last ordinary meeting of the Regional Co-ordinating Council (RCC), Mr Baffour-Awuah further indicated that the most significant drug case was the discovery of a five-acre Indian hemp farm at Ohiamankyene, a village near Nsawkaw in the Tain District, and disclosed that two men who were guarding the farm had been arrested but the owner of the farm was on the run.
He said during the course of the year, the national security council allocated three Toyota Pick-ups to the Police for patrol duties on the highways, and that the donation had helped to reduce the spate of highway robberies.
Turning to the assemblies, the Regional Minister pointed out that almost all the district and municipal assemblies failed to submit their financial statements (trial balance) and quarterly administrative progress reports on time.
According to Mr Baffour-Awuah, only the Dormaa District Assembly was able to submit its November Trial Balance in the second week of December as stipulated by law and added that the remaining 18 assemblies were in arrears, ranging from one to three months.
On revenue mobilisation, he indicated that on the average, all the assemblies improved upon the collection of their internally generated funds.
Mr Baffour-Awuah further indicated that a few of the assemblies were able to exceed their estimated revenues, including Pru, 102 per cent as of September 2007; Kintampo South, 127 per cent as of October 2007; Tano North, 214 per cent as of October; Jaman North, 110 per cent as of October and Atebubu/Amantin as of October.
According to the Regional Minister, as of November 2007, only six of the assemblies were able to use part of their revenue to undertake development projects.
Touching on Education, Mr Baffour-Awuah said at the basic level, each district assembly now had an average of 50 schools constructed since the New Patriotic Party came to power in 2001.
However, he pointed out that an analysis of the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) results over the last three years indicated that the performance of school children at the basic level had not improved much.
He disclosed that the average performance of the region had been hovering between 63.2 per cent in 2005, 65.1 per cent in 2006 and 65.7 per cent in 2007, adding that Sunyani had consistently been among the top three while Kintampo South, Tain and Wenchi, had been alternating the last three positions.