Sunday, February 28, 2010


THE Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr. Kwadwo Nyamekye-Marfo, has given the assurance that the promise made by President J.E.A. Mills to establish a University of Natural Resources in the region is on course.
According to him, the land acquisition process for the establishment of the university had started and the Committee of Resource Persons tasked by President Mills to put together a report to facilitate the eventual initiation of the project had started work in earnest.
President Mills, who was then the presidential candidate of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), made the promise during the 2008 electioneering and reiterated it at a grand durbar of the chiefs and people of Brong Ahafo to climax the 50th anniversary celebration of the creation of the region at the Jubilee park last year.
Mr Nyamekye-Marfo gave the assurance at the fourth congregation and the 10th matriculation ceremony of the Catholic University College of Ghana at Fiapre in the Sunyani West District in the Brong Ahafo Region at the weekend.
The congregation saw 145 students graduating with Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and Business Administration with options in Economics, Accounting and Management, and Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Studies.
Three hundred and twelve students were officially admitted out of which 308 would pursue various undergraduate programmes and four for postgraduate programmes.
Mr Nyamekye-Marfo stated that the government had also put in place measures to provide massive and modern infrastructure at all levels of education to create the needed congenial environment for teaching and learning in the country.
This, he said, was a clear demonstration of the Government’s commitment to sustain the improvement and transformation of the educational sector.
Mr Nyamekey-Marfo noted that the Government had also introduced a number of policies, which included the supply of free uniforms for pupils in basic schools, increased responsibility allowances for head teachers, supply of free exercise books to pupils and the payment of 20 per cent of basic salary as allowance to teachers who accepted postings to rural areas.
He stated further that the recent review of the duration of the senior high school (SHS) programme from four to three years was very important in the sense that the merits far outweighed the demerits.
The minister said the ability of the graduates to provide contemporary solutions to the ever-emerging challenges would testify to the outside world, the premium to be placed on the institution and the type of niche the institution had succeeded in carving for itself and expressed the hope that the graduates would be worthy ambassadors of the university.
The Most Rev. Charles Gabriel Palmer-Buckle, the Metropolitan Archbishop of Accra, who was the guest speaker at the ceremony, commended all for their immense support which had brought the university this far and said all efforts were being made for the university to obtain its Charter soon.
He urged the graduates who were now venturing into the world to apply the knowledge that they had acquired from the university to help transform society by solving the problems faced by the society and the nation as whole.
Professor James H. Ephraim, the Vice-chancellor of the University, said the university also offered a Masters Degree programme in Religious Education and Pastoral Ministry and to ensure quality at the postgraduate level, a School of Research and Graduate Studies had been proposed awaiting the approval of the Board of Trustees for its commercement.


There was wild jubilation as the whole township of Dormaa Ahenkro went into a frenzy after league leaders, Aduana Stars, deflated the ego of Asante Kotoko with a 1-0 triumph in their 19th week Glo Premier League top liner at the Nana Agyeman Badu Sports Stadium yesterday.
A bicycle kick by Nurudeen Ali in the 60th minute won the day for Aduana Stars after Kotoko’s goalkeeper Isaac Amoako failed to make a first-time save from a corner kick taken by Samuel Asiedu.
The tension-filled match travelled without on-field incidents as Accra-based referee Thomas Nunoo stamped his authority on the game and was not deterred by the vociferous home fans, some of whom held naked fire and moved to and fro to cheer up their team.
Both teams, from the blast of the whistle, played a good game to the admiration of their fans, but Kotoko, who looked determined to carry the day in the first half, always shot wide in front of goal, with the worst offender being Edward Affum, who failed to feed Baffour Djan with the needed crosses to score.
After recess, Aduana lifted their game and pinned Kotoko to their own half making them to lose concentration, but the opponents’ defence consisting of Michael Ofosu Appiah, Gideon Baah and Ofosu Appiah kept the Aduana attackers, led by skipper Samuel Asiedu, at bay.
Both teams made some few substitutions, with tactical Herbert Addo bringing on Francis Aduhene and Wahab Adams for George Ampofo and Seth Opare respectively, while his Kotoko counterpart, Paa Kwesi Fabin, pulled out Baffour Gyan and Jordan Opoku for young enterprising Stephen Manu and Omar Gariba, but it was the homesters who benefited from the substitution.


Some youth in the Berekum municipality of the Brong Ahafo Region on Tuesday, February 16, 2010, demolished a popular fast food joint in the town, the Emmanuel Fast Food, following a suspected food poisoning case levelled against the proprietor of the joint, Mr Emmanuel Osei Kumi.
The action of the youth stemmed from the fact that 34 people in the municipality who were said to have bought and eaten fried rice from the food joint on February 14, 2010 were said to have taken ill after eating the said fried rice.
The 34 people, who reported of severe abdominal pains, diarrhoea and vomiting, were treated at and discharged from the Berekum Holy Family Hospital and other health facilities in and around Berekum and their ailments were said to have resulted from the fried rice they ate, according to a report from the hospital.
No casualty was recorded but two of the victims were still on admission and responding to treatment when the Daily Graphic team visited the hospital on Thursday.
According to the acting Berekum Municipal Director of Health Services, Mr Samuel Opoku, who confirmed the incident to the Daily Graphic, that was the second time a suspected case of food poisoning had been made against the same fast food joint.
He stated that the first case, which involved about 78 people who had reported of food poisoning after eating fried rice from the joint, occurred in October 2009.
He stated that in the first incident, which had been reported to his outfit by Dr Attu, the police took up the matter and arrested Mr Kumi.
Mr Opoku said the police took samples of the food alleged to have been eaten by the victims to the Ghana Standards Board for testing but the report proved negative.
He said based on the report, his outfit conducted thorough investigations into the case, visited the place where the food had been prepared and later met with the proprietor of the joint and urged him to take the necessary food safety and other health-related measures to forestall a recurrence.
He said before the Valentine’s Day incident, the municipal health directorate, based on concerns raised over the food joint by some residents in December 2009, wrote to the owner to stop operating, copies of which letters were sent to the police, but he defied the orders and continued with his business until the Valentine’s Day incident.
He said information gathered was that the owner of the joint claimed the police report had proved negative and he had also instituted legal proceedings in court so there was no way he could be prevented from operating till the final determination of the case.
Mr Opoku said the health directorate had commissioned an investigation into the latest case.
Meanwhile, the youth who took the action said they did so since the authorities and the police had failed to take any steps to stop the owner of the fast food joint from operating, even in the face of compelling evidence.
Efforts to get the owner of the joint for his comments proved futile, as this reporter was told he had left town after the incident.


The Omanhene of Atebubu Traditional Area, Nana Owusu Akyeaw Brempong II has formally recognised Mr Sanja Nanja, the Atebubu-Amantin District Chief Executive (DCE).
The news of the acceptance and recognition of Mr Nanja as the DCE for the area by Nana Brempong and his elders last Monday afternoon spread like wildfire throughout the Atebubu metropolis, and many residents who spoke to the Daily Graphic said it was a welcome news, since it would help speed up the pace of development in the area.
Nana Brempong, who is also the President of the Atebubu Traditional Council, together with his elders about a year ago, kicked against the nomination of Mr Nanja as the DCE for Atebubu-Amantin by President J.E.A. Mills and called for his replacement, arguing that he was not an indigene or native of the area, but the President stood his grounds and Mr Nanja was subsequently approved by the assembly to become the substantive DCE.
Mr Nanja, was born and bred in Atebubu and until his appointment as the DCE, was a teacher, in the district.
The Omanhene and some of his elders who swore fire and brimstone not to have anything to do with the President’s appointee, later decided to rescind their decision, thereby making room for peace to prevail for rapid development.
Resolution of the differences was brokered by the President of the Brong Ahafo Regional House of Chiefs and Omanhene of Kukuom Traditional Area, Osahene Kwaku Aterkyi, and his vice, Nana Yaw Kagbrese II, who is also the Omanhene of Yeji Traditional Area. He led a delegation, comprising some elders of the Atebubu-Amantin and staff of the district assembly.
The peace initiative was mooted by the Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Kwadwo Nyamekye-Marfo, who rooted it through the two chiefs to execute.
The traditional council also accepted into their fold once again the Kyidomhene of the Atebubu Traditional Area, Nana Osei Gyan Ababio, who defied the resolution of the council not to recognise and work with the DCE. He was subsequently banished from the town as the Kyidomhene by the traditional council.
Nana Gyan, at the peace and acceptance durbar at the Omanhene’s palace, presented a ram and bottles of Schnapps as custom demanded for the amicable settlement of the matter, while the assembly also presented a carton each of soft and alcoholic beverages and an unspecified amount of money to the council as well.

In his acceptance speech, Nana Brempong said he had nothing against Mr Nanja and the President Mills-led government and had, therefore, resolved to accept his appointee as the DCE for the area. He also pledged to work with him for peace and harmony to prevail in the area.
He, however, urged Mr Nanja to help resolve the dispute between the Yam Sellers Association and some other farmers at the Atebubu Yam Market.
Mr Nanja, for his part, thanked all, especially the Regional Minister and the two paramount chiefs, for resolving the impasse between them which had slowed down the pace of development in the area.
He thus pledged to resolve the market dispute, but said the decision to cede part of the land which was given to some traders to use as market by the Omanhene to the yam farmers was taken by the assembly and he would, therefore, consult his superiors and the assembly members to put the matter to rest.
Osahene Aterkyi and Nana Kagbrese, for their part, also thanked Nana Brempong for the acceptance and recognition of Mr Nanja as the DCE for Atebubu-Amantin, saying it was a healthy sign of good things to come, explaining that now that peace had prevailed, it would help in hastening the pace of development in the area and the region as a whole.
Hence, they pledged to communicate the outcome of the meeting to the Regional Minister, who initiated the move.
They also pledged that they would impress upon the Regional Minister, who the Omanhene accused, that because of the impasse between him and the DCE, had refused to pay him a visit, to do so now, now that the matter had been amicably resolved.
Osahene Aterkyi called on traditional rulers to co-operate and work hand-in-hand with their respective DCEs in order to speed up the development of their traditional areas rather than being up in arms with them, since both the institutions were for development in their respective areas of jurisdiction and also for an improvement in the living standards of the people.


Berekum Arsenal kept their unbeaten home record yesterday by defeating defending champions, Hearts of Oak, by a lone goal in their Glo Premier League match at the Berekum Golden City Park.
Bennet Ofori’s 48th minute connection to a Francis Aggrey freekick won the day for Arsenal.
The tension-packed match saw both teams battling for supremacy in midfield, but the beauty of the exchanges was nearly marred by Cape Coast-based Class One referee, Joseph Baffour’s inability to stamp his authority on the game.
In their determination to cancel the lead, Hearts mounted pressure on their opponents with their good ball distribution. However, referee Baffour stirred controversy when he disallowed an obvious penalty in the 65th minute after Arsenal’s last defender, Peter Amoah, fouled Mahatma Otoo in the box.
The referee only sent off the player for a second cautionable offence to the chagrin of the Hearts technical bench and teeming fans.


The government has been urged to review the recent increment in the road toll to reflect the current economic situation in the country.
The increment in the road toll has been described by many as astronomical and the earlier it was reviewed to reflect the prevailing economic circumstances of the country the better.
Alhaji Yakubu Anderson, made the call in an interview with the Daily Graphic in Sunyani.
He said he appreciated the governments’ commitment to develop the road sector of the country but that should be done gradually.
Alhaji Anderson noted that there had been an astronomical percentage increment, adding that for the private cars he had no problem with the increment but the same could not be send for public transport.
According to him, since majority of Ghanaians patronised the public transport the government should have given serious consideration to that sector.
He noted that with the increment in the road toll commercial transport operators would be forced to transfer the cost to passengers and this could worsen the standard of living of the citizenry, especially the poor.
“The 50Gp per private car is okay but the Gh¢1.00 and above for commercial vehicles should be reduced,” he stressed.
Alhaji Anderson in calling for the review of the increment in the road toll also called for broader consultations , saying the government should sit down with a all stakeholders once again and come out with a realistic fees.


Although the Glo Premier League match between Bechem Chelsea and visiting Accra Great Olympics at the Sunyani Coronation Park ended in a goalless drawn game, the match did not pass without nasty incident.
Cape Coast-based Class One referee P. P. Awuah, and his two assistants, Mumuni Isaaka and Michael Agbenaza, from Tamale and Aflao respectively, had to be whisked away in a police jeep from the wrath of alleged Bechem Chelsea fans who had besieged the dressing room to vent their spleen on the referees.
It took the few policemen detailed to the park to ensure law and order about 45 minutes after the match.
• Struggling Sekondi Hasaacas yesterday beat Berekum Arsenal 1-0 at the Sekondi Sports Stadium, Essipon to pick the maximum points at stake. Writes: Moses Dotsey Aklorbortu
The homesters’ goal was scored by substitute Enoch N.K.Eyison on the 78th minute.

Friday, February 26, 2010


THE Deputy Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Eric Opoku, has called on all nationals from the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS), particularly Fulanis living in the country not to take undue advantage of the ECOWAS Protocol and the usual Ghanaian hospitality to perpetrate crime.
He said any negative behaviour would not be tolerated and the laws of the country would deal ruthlessly with any perpetrator.
He, therefore, called on the Fulani community, especially their herdsmen living in parts of the Brong Ahafo Region, who in recent times, have taken the laws of the country into their own hands to reverse the trend or be dealt with accordingly.
He, therefore, urged the Fulani herdsmen to peacefully co-exist with members of their host communities to guard against any breaches of the laws of the country.
Mr Opoku made the call at separate meetings with the chiefs and people of Dorbor, a farming community in the Tain District in the Brong Ahafo Region, and the Fulani herdsmen resident in the area last Monday.
The meeting, which was convened at the instance of the Brong Ahafo Regional Security Council (REGSEC) and headed by the Deputy Regional Minister, was to avert any possible clashes between the Fulani herdsmen and their Ghanaian counterparts in the area.
Tension in the area, according to security operatives, was at fever pitch following the continuous destructive activities of the Fulani herdsmen and their grazing cattle.
In attendance were the Tain District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr Samuel Jones Tawiah, and his counterpart for Jaman North, Hajia Amina Amadu.
The two districts share a common boundary and any violent clashes in the Tain District might spill over to the latter.
Mr Opoku commended the chiefs and people of Dorbor, especially the youth, for not taking the law into their own hands to cause any mayhem, but resorted to a peaceful means to resolve the conflict between them and the Fulani herdsmen.
“ I am happy to say that if all Ghanaians in every part of the country would resort to dialogue in settling any dispute or conflict as the chiefs and people of Dorbor had done, there would not be any need for the state to spend large chunk of its resources on internal peace-keeping operations,” he said.
Mr Opoku, therefore, urged the people to continue to exercise restraint as they had done in the past in the face of extreme provocation by the Fulanis herdsmen.
The Deputy Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, in a response to an appeal for the extension of electricity and the rehabilitation of roads linking the area to the district capital and other marketing centres, said the area was part of the district-wide electrification project, while the assembly and the central government were also taking steps to repair the roads in the area as soon as possible before the rainy season this year.
He noted that based on this, the District Security Committee (DISEC) held a meeting, deliberated on the issue and took a decision until recently when the matter nearly degenerated into violent clashes between the people and the Fulani herdsmen in the area.
Mr Tawiah said following the tension in the area, the DISEC decided to inform the REGSEC to step in to ensure that peace prevailed in the area, hence the visit of the REGSEC delegation.
He said the district had already purchased a grader for the maintenance of roads in the district, which the assembly was yet to take delivery of, and when it arrived, the roads in the area would be given a priority.
The Assembly member for the area, Mr Joseph Kwadwo Yeboah, earlier in his welcoming address, appealed to the government as a matter of urgency to flush out the Fulani herdsmen from the area for peace to prevail, since their continued stay in the area might lead to violent clashes.
He said apart from the destruction of farmlands, human lives had not been spared as their stray cattle attacked and killed people on their farms, citing the death of one Sualiho, as well as the heavy fines imposed on innocent people being accused of killing their animals without evidence, which had also led to the death of one Yaw Mossi.


THE Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Kwadwo Nyamekye-Marfo, on the directives of President J.E.A. Mills, has commissioned a three-member committee to look into allegations of misappropriation of funds levelled against the Nkoranza North District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr Kwadwo Agyei-Dwomor.
The committee has also been tasked to look into other related issues levelled against the DCE.
A release issued to the press in Sunyani and signed by Augusta Ofeibea Tettey, the Public Relations Officer of the Brong Ahafo Regional Co-ordinating Council (RCC), mentioned the chairman of the committee as Mr Agyenim-Boateng, the Presiding Member of the Sunyani West Assembly, Messrs Theophilus Appoh, State Attorney, as a member and Yakubu Abdul Rakhman as member secretary.
The release said membership to the committee was informed by their level of competence and trust.
According to the release, the Regional Minister, therefore, tasked the committee to approach their work with due diligence.
He said they must discharge their mandate without fear or favour, adding that that would enable them to produce a credible report that would be relied upon.
The release said Mr Nyamekye-Marfo gave an assurance that their findings would be studied thoroughly and the recommendations implemented appropriately.
Mr Agyenim-Boateng, the Chairman of the committee, on behalf of members of the committee expressed appreciation for the confidence reposed in them and promised to work as an independent body to come out with a report that could stand the litmus test.


Berekum Arsenals and New Edubiase yesterday settled for a 1-1 draw game in their Glo-Premier League match played at the Berekum Golden City Park as the second round of the premiership kicked off.
Berekum Arsenals broke the deadlock in the 82nd minute of the game when Shaibu Adams headed home a corner kick. But John Arthur drew even for the visitors when he equalised on the 87th minute.


TWO traders who have been selling a banned drug, potassium bromate popularly known as "para" or "power", to bakers to bake bread have been arrested by the Sunyani police.
The perpetrators, Rita Tawiah and Vivian Boakye, were arrested at their various shops at the Chiraa Lorry Station in Sunyani, following routine operations by officials from the Brong Ahafo Zonal Office of the Food and Drugs Board (FDB) in collaboration with the police to ensure public safety.
They have been granted police inquiry bail pending further investigations into the matter.
Potassium bromate, which has been banned in many countries, including Ghana since the 1990s, is said to have serious health implications for human beings when consumed. It has also been identified as the major cause of kidney-related diseases.
The drug has the sensory effect to strengthen the dough, making it rise higher, thereby, making the bread heavier and more elastic. It is also used to make poor quality flour appear like a quality one.
These qualities of the drug have encouraged some unscrupulous traders and bakers to take advantage of it to make profit from it at the expense of the health of consumers.
Briefing journalists in Sunyani, the Brong Ahafo Zonal Officer of the FDB, Mrs Nora Narkie Terlabie, who led the operation, said the FDB through its various investigations had information that certain persons and bakers were adding the banned drug (potassium bromate) to wheat flour to bake bread in the Sunyani Municipality.
She said based on the information, her office embarked on the operation leading to the arrest of the traders.
According to her, it was within the mandate of the FDB to ensure that unwholesome and banned drugs such as the potassium bromate that had health implications were not sold to the public.
Mrs Terlabie called on the public to assist the FDB by providing credible information on such activities to help them to protect the consumer.
She also advised bakers to desist from using bromate but instead use ascorbic acid to get the same effect without harming consumers.
She stated that potassium bromate had been banned in many countries as a carcinogen from 1990, adding that the FDB had food additive and contaminants regulations which were based on international best practices to assess the safety of food products.
That, Mrs Terlabie said, led to the ban on the usage of potassium bromate in 1995 as an additive in bread due to its carcinogenic effect on human beings.
She added that the product was also banned in the United Kingdom in 1990, Canada in 1994, Sri Lanka in 2001 and China in 2005 while Nigeria, Brazil and Pru had all banned its usage.
Mrs Terlabie gave the assurance that the Zonal Office of the FDB would intensify its education and monitoring this year to heighten the awareness.
During interrogation, the arrested traders told the police that they bought the bromate from Kumasi to sell to the bakers in the municipality who had been requesting for it.


THE Brong Ahafo Regional Co-ordinating Council (RCC) has taken delivery of 718,000 exercise books for distribution to basic school pupils in the region by the end of the first quarter of this year.
The distribution of the exercise books is in fulfilment of one of the government’s campaign promises to provide free exercise books to all basic school pupils nationwide besides the provision of free school uniforms.
The Deputy Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Eric Opoku, who announced this at the launch of the Sunyani Municipal Assembly Education Fund, said in addition to the free exercise books for distribution to pupils in the region, plans were afoot to expand facilities in some senior high schools (SHSs) in the region to enable them to admit more students.
Consequently, he said the Sunyani SHS (SUSEC), St. James SHS and Junior Seminary in Sunyani, Dormaa SHS at Dormaa Ahenkro and the Nkrankwanta SHS in the Dormaa West Municipality are some of the schools to benefit from the construction of a two-storey dormitory block each.
This is aimed at enabling them to increase their intake. Others to benefit from the project are the Kwame Danso SHS and the Kejeji SHS, both in the Sene District, and the Nkoranza Technical SHS, which is the only technical school in the Brong Ahafo Region.
Mr Opoku, therefore, called on residents in the region to put away their partisan interests and rally behind the government and the assembly in their efforts to ensure access to quality education for all.
The Deputy Regional Minister also tasked the various municipal and district assemblies (MDAs) in the region to ensure that all school infrastructure in their respective areas of jurisdiction was in good condition to enhance teaching and learning as a way of complementing the efforts of the central government.
The launch coincided with the inauguration of a Board of Trustees to administer the fund chaired by Mrs B.A. Prempeh.
The occasion was on the theme, “Education — Our Progress, Our Future”. According to Mr Kwasi Oppong Ababio, the Sunyani Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), the establishment of the fund was in line with the agenda of the central government and the assembly towards promoting quality education to reduce poverty, fast-track growth and develop the country.
On behalf of the RCC, Mr Opoku donated GH¢5,000, while the Dormaahene, Osagyefo Oseadeeyo Agyeman Badu II, and the Sunyanihene, Nana Bosoma Asor Nkrawirie II, donated GH¢1,000 and GH¢500 respectively towards the fund.
Touching on the education fund, Mr Opoku urged all and sundry in the region, especially corporate bodies, to contribute to the fund to help develop the human resources of the municipality and the nation as a whole.
Rev. Samuel A. Amankwa, the Brong Ahafo Regional Director of Education, in an address read on his behalf, commended the Sunyani Municipal Assembly for establishing the education fund to promote education in the municipality.
He said the fund should not only focus on paying fees for students, but also on the provision of quality textbooks for schools in the municipality and also target dedicated teachers, especially those in deprived communities who wished to further their education.
Mr Ababio commended the assembly members for approving the proposals for the establishment of the fund.
He said the fund sought to harness resources for the benefit of academically promising and needy pupils and students and enhance academic standards in the municipality and improve the teaching and learning environment.
To further support developing the human resource base of the municipality, he said the assembly had planned to undertake a number of projects in the educational sector which included construction of classroom blocks at Daadom, Yawhima, Abesim, Kotokrom, among others.
In separate addresses, Nana Nkrawirie and Nana Kumi Akyeaw, the Abesimhene, who deputised for the Dormaahene, called on the assembly to put in place mechanisms and strategies to sustain the fund through levies and bye-laws, which would be binding on all.


A 72-year-old fire volunteer at Nsoatre in the Sunyani West District in the Brong Ahafo Region was shot dead by an unknown assailant on the Adoyie Road, at Nsoatre.
The deceased, Issifu Kofi Anane aka Tico, was in the company of members of the Community Fire Volunteer Squad, who were on their way to monitor activities to prevent bushfires, when he was shot by an unidentified gunman.
Anane, who has been described as a dedicated fire volunteer by some residents of the town since his youthful days, died on the spot and his body has been deposited at the Regional Hospital mortuary awaiting autopsy.
Briefing the Daily Graphic on the incident, the Sunyani Municipal Fire Officer, Assistant Divisional Fire Officer (Mr) Francis Gaisie, said the deceased was a member of the Nsoatre Fire Volunteer Squad who were on their dawn patrol at about 4.30 a.m. on Wednesday to help prevent the annual bushfires that occurred during the dry season in the area when the unknown gunman, believed to be a hunter, shot him to death.
He said the deceased and his colleagues were on their way just some few metres from the Nsoatre township on the Adoyie Road when he (deceased) saw someone sporting a hunter’s lamp coming to their direction and therefore alerted them but before they could react the unknown gunman opened fire on them, which led to the death of the deceased.
Mr Gaisie said as a result of the shooting by the unknown gunman, his other colleagues became scared to go near the assailant but after some time they gathered courage and attempted to arrest the gunman but he fled the scene leaving behind the gun and a bicycle.
He said the group made a report to the Nsoatre Police who went to the scene to convey the body of the deceased to the Regional Hospital mortuary.
Meanwhile the police have launched a manhunt to arrest the culprit and appealed to residents to assist them with any information.


THE Sunyani Area Manager of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), Mr Stephen Asamoah, has pledged the readiness of SSNIT to assist employers on the new SSNIT Scheme under the National Pension ACT 2008, ACT 766 to ensure its smooth implementation and success.
He gave the assurance at a day’s employers’ seminar on the new SSNIT Scheme under the National Pension ACT 2008, ACT 766 in Sunyani last Friday.
He, therefore, called for co-operation from employers and entreated them to pay the monthly contributions of their employees promptly, as stipulated under the new act, adding that they should also provide accurate data on members to prevent the unnecessary delays when one went on retirement.
Mr Asamoah further advised employers not to under-declare the salaries of their employees, since that would affect their pension.
He urged them to pay the contributions of all newly engaged workers, whether casual or permanent, as failure to do so would attract heavy sanctions under the new act.
The National Pension Act was passed by Parliament and it received Presidential Assent on December 4, 2008 and gazette notification on December 12, 2008 as its effective date.
The Act provides for pension reforms in Ghana by the introduction of a contributory three-tier pension scheme comprising a first tier mandatory defined Basic National Social Security Scheme, a second tier mandatory fully funded and privately managed Occupational Pension Scheme and a third tier voluntary fully funded Provident Fund and Personal Pension Scheme.
Speaking on the topic: “Employers’ obligation under the Act”, Mr Asamoah said under the new Act, a worker contributed 5.5 per cent of his/her basic salary and the employer added 13 per cent of the worker’s basic salary, making a total of 18.5 per cent.
He added that out of the 18.5 per cent, the employer should remit 13.5 per cent within 14 days after the end of each month to SSNIT.
He stated further that no employer should contribute less than 13.5 per cent of the approved equivalent of the national minimum wage from January 2010, even if the employee earned below the minimum wage.

The Customer Affairs Officer for the Kumasi and Sunyani Area offices, Mrs Ivy Zormelo, who spoke on the general overview of the act, said a National Pensions Regulatory Authority had been established under the new act to oversee the administration and management of pension schemes in the country, while SSNIT had been tasked to manage the first tier mandatory basic National Social Security Scheme.
She added that the creation of the three-tier contributory systems under the new act would replace the current parallel SSNIT and the Cap 30 Pension schemes and bring about unification of all existing public schemes within a period of five years from the commencement of the act.
Mrs Zormelo said the objectives of the three-tier scheme were to ensure retirement income security for workers, ensure that every worker received retirement and related benefits as and when required and set up uniformed rules, regulations and standards for the administration and payment of retirement and related benefits for both public and private sector workers.
She stated said the three-tier scheme covered workers in both the private and the public sectors and those exempted from it were officers and men of the Ghana Armed Forces and categories of persons exempted by the 1992 Constitution of Ghana or expressly exempted by any other law .
She said the employer should, within 14 days from the end of each month, transfer 13.5 per cent of the mandated 18.5 per cent deduction to the first-tier mandatory Basic Social Security Scheme (SSNIT) and five per cent to the second-tier mandatory occupational scheme.
Mrs Zormelo stated that the minimum entry age for the scheme under the act was 15 years, while the maximum was 45 years, adding that those who had attained the age of 55 and above were exempted but it was optional for them and those category of workers would continue to pay the old 17.5 per cent until they retired.
Mr Forson Avakame of the SSNIT Office in Sunyani, who spoke on the presentation of new contribution reports, urged employers to submit prompt reports and also ensure that all information provided was accurate to enhance efficiency.
He said contribution reports must be submitted, whether contributions were remitted to the trust or not, while the payment of contributions must be accompanied with contribution reports.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


THE newly elected Brong Ahafo Regional Functional Executive Committee (FEC) of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has expressed its satisfaction at the manner in which President J.E.A. Mills and his team have so far managed the administration of the nation.
According to them, the processes and strategies put in place by the government to manage the huge debt bequeathed to the NDC government by the previous administration would help create jobs, promote education and health among other things, to help achieve the “Better Ghana” agenda.
The committee also impressed upon the party’s numerous followers and members to rally behind the government in its efforts at addressing the numerous challenges confronting the nation.
In a release issued to the press in Sunyani and signed by Mr Justice Samuel Adjei, the Regional Secretary, it said the Regional FEC made the observation at their first meeting held in Sunyani to appraise the state of the party in the region and also to outline and discuss an action plan for the party for the first quarter of 2010.
It said the Regional FEC had also closely observed the recent developments within the NDC party and had come to the realisation that there had been conscious efforts by a section of Ghanaians to consistently and tirelessly launch destructive criticisms at the NDC administration, headed by President Mills, with the aim of derailing whatever the government had achieved in its short stay in office, thus destroying the stability, cohesion and unity of the NDC government.


THE Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Kwadwo Nyamekye-Marfo, has said any review of the Constitution must enhance the country’s development agenda, instead of compounding it.
He, therefore, stressed a need for a radical shift in the current decentralisation policy to reflect the country’s development agenda.
“What must engage the attention of Ghanaians, especially local government practitioners, is the need for a shift in the current decentralisation policy to reflect the development needs of the country,” he argued.
Mr Nyamkye-Marfo said this at a workshop to review two decades of decentralisation and the district assembly system in the country.
The workshop, organised in Sunyani on Thursday, was attended by 85 local government practitioners, notably presiding members from the Brong Ahafo, Ashanti and the three northern regions.
It was organised by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in collaboration with the Sustainable Rural Livelihoods Project (SRLP) and Africa 2000 Network, under the auspices of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and the National Association of Local Authorities Ghana (NALAG).
The regional minister said the current discussion going on to solicit views for a review of the country’s decentralisation policy must go beyond a call for the election of district chief executives.
Mr Nyamkye-Marfo suggested that there should be a realignment of roles, responsibilities and duties of key players in the decentralisation policy, saying that if that was done, it would enrich the policy and prevent any conflict in the roles and duties of the various actors.
The Brong Ahafo Region Minister added that over the years the system had been facing challenges which included the non-functional sub-structures, the delay in the release of the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF), deductions made from the DACF, inadequate qualified staff, among others.
Alhaji Ibrahim Mohammed Sherif, the General Secretary of NALAG, in his remarks, paid glowing tribute to those who engaged themselves in the decentralisation process, and noted that the review of the concept should help accelerate the development pace of the nation, especially at the grass-roots level.
He announced that through the efforts of NALAG, the government had approved the purchase of motorbikes for assembly members nationwide and gave an assurance that very soon every assembly member would be riding on his motorbike to facilitate their work at the assembly and within their various electoral areas.
Mr Joe Appeah, a facilitator at the workshop and Chief Executive Officer of the Pentex Management Consultancy, who took participants through the topic, “Two Decades of Decentralisation in Ghana: Issues for discussion”, stated that the country would only be able to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) when decentralisation, the district assembly system and other institutions at the grass-roots levels were assisted to build capacities and function effectively.
Mr Agyenim Boateng, the Presiding Member of the Sunyani West District Assembly, who chaired the function, in his remarks, stated that the review of the decentralisation process was an issue of national importance and every deliberation on it should go beyond partisan consideration to help enhance the concept.


THE National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP) in the Pru District of the Brong Ahafo Region is collapsing, following the refusal of the former District Chief Executive (DCE) for the area, Alhaji Iddrisu Gariba, to refund GH¢32,753.22 he allegedly withdrew from the District NYEP’s account during his tenure as DCE.
The situation, according to sources at the NYEP Secretariat in the district, had led to the gradual crippling of the NYEP in the district.
In view of the situation, many youth in the district who were to be engaged under the various modules of the programme have been put on hold as existing beneficiaries are yet to be paid their salary arrears for last year.
This is because there are no funds in the NYEP Account in the district.
According to the sources, the said amount was withdrawn by the former DCE from the NYEP Account on three separate occasions.
Corresponding letters on the letter heads of the assembly written to the NYEP District Co-ordinator by the former DCE and copied to the District Finance Officer of the assembly requesting for the money were sighted by the Daily Graphic during the investigation.
The first letter, written and signed by the former DCE, titled “REQUEST FOR FUNDS”, was dated August 8, 2006 and read, “I would be grateful if you could release an amount totalling Sixty-Nine Million, Five Hundred and Thirty-Two, Two Hundred Cedis (¢69,532,200.00) from the National Youth Employment Programme Account for the assembly to meet immediate expenditure.”
The letter further stated, “The said amount would be reimbursed as soon as the assembly receives its share of the District Assemblies Common Fund.”
Another letter, written and signed by the former DCE to the District NYEP Co-ordinator titled “Loan of Fifty Million Cedis from Youth Employment Account”, dated April 5, 2007 and on the letter head of the assembly read “The District Assembly wish to loan an amount of Fifty Eight Million (¢58,000,000.00) from the Youth Employment Account in order to cater for some urgent problems. The amount loaned will be refunded from District Assembly Common Fund when the next tranche is received.”
The last letter, dated August 1, 2007, written and signed by the former DCE and titled “Transfer of Funds to the Yeji Branch Manager of the Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB)” and copied to the NYEP District Co-ordinator, read, “I would be grateful if you could transfer an amount of GH¢20,000.00 from the National Youth Employment Account No. 8071130000011 into the Assembly’s Common Fund Account No. 8071130000637 and advise the office accordingly”.
It stated further that “The amount would be reimbursed as soon as the Assembly receives its share of the District Assemblies’ Common Fund”.
The amount totalling GH¢32,753.22 allegedly withdrawn by the former DCE from the NYEP Account of the assembly has not been refunded by him (Alhaji Gariba) as stated in his letters requesting for the release of the monies, according to the finance office of the assembly.
When the Daily Graphic contacted the Pru DCE, Mr. Masawuud Mohammed, for his comments, he confirmed the story and said the assembly had written several letters to his predecessor to refund the amount involved to the assembly to ensure the smooth running and implementation of the NYEP in the district but all to no avail.
He added that he invited his predecessor to the assembly in order to put the matter to rest but that also failed, and that the assembly had no records indicating that the amount withdrawn by the former DCE had been refunded as stated in his letters requesting for the monies.
Asked about the next line of action to ensure that the former DCE refunded the money, Mr Mohammed said the assembly had forwarded the necessary documents to its lawyers and that it was waiting for aresponse.
Efforts to reach the former DCE to get his side of the story have proved futile, as his mobile phone has most of the time been off. When the call goes through, he does not receive it.


THE Managing Director of the ARB Apex Bank Limited, Mr Eric Osei-Bonsu, has stated that the performance of most Rural and Community Banks (RCBs) in the country has been very encouraging in recent times.
Those banks, he said, had consistently registered impressive deposit mobilisation and increases in share capital which were indications of growing public confidence in the rural bank system.
Mr Osei-Bonsu said this in a speech read on his behalf at the 23rd annual general meeting of the Suma Rural Bank at Suma Ahenkro in the Jaman North District in the Brong Ahafo Region.
He advised shareholders of all RCBs in the country whose contributions over the years had led to the impressive performance in the rural banking sector to increase their capital and also to buy more shares in order to meet the Bank of Ghana’s (BOG’s) GH¢150,000 minimum share capital requirement deadline by the close of the year.
During the year under review, the bank recorded a profit before tax of GH¢21,140 as against GH¢3,647 in 2007. The amount also represents 561 per cent increase during the year under review over the previous year.
Mr Osei-Bonsu, therefore, commended the board members, shareholders, management and staff of the bank for their hard work and urged them to work harder to get more profit in the years ahead.
The Chairman of the Board of Directors of the bank, Mr F.O. Gyan, said the bank increased its deposits from GH¢1,056,398 to GH¢1,291,672 while its total loans, overdrafts and advances increased from GH¢623,885 to GH¢977,866, representing 56 per cent.
He said most of the loans went into agriculture, transport, trading, industries, among others.
Mr Gyan said the bank’s share capital rose from GH¢56,297 to GH¢56,987.
He said the bank had introduced three micro finance programmes known as ‘Susu products’, including Golden Susu savings, Big six savings and Anidaso group savings.
Mr Gyan stated that under the Susu products, any contributor who was able to contribute for three successful months without any withdrawal from his or her account qualified for 100 times loan.
He, therefore, encouraged all and sundry to get involved in that programme for more assistance.
For her part, the District Chief Executive (DCE) for Jaman North, Hajia Amina Amadu, advised loan beneficiaries to repay the loans in time so that the money could be given to others who needed finance assistance from the bank.
The DCE advised farmers, hunters and palm-wine tappers against bush burning during the harmattan season, warning that severe sanctions would be taken against defaulters.
Hajia Amadu praised the bank for its outstanding performance and urged the shareholders to maintain the standard.
The Senior Manager of the bank, Mr Adjei Amponsah, emphasised that the bank was always prepared to assist people in the catchment area.
He, therefore, called on the inhabitants who did not patronise any banking services to do so to secure their future and also benefit from the services rendered by the bank to improve their lot.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


The Pathfinder International (PI) Ghana, in collaboration with the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA), has organised a forum in Ho, in the Volta Region, for selected journalists, nurses and peer educators on Adolescent Reproductive Health (ARH).
The participants included 15 journalists, selected from both the print and electronic media houses.
At the end of the programme, a resolution was adapted to intensify the campaign to enhance youth development.
Early on, 60 other nurses and 60 youth were also trained in ARH issues and equipped with the necessary information, skills and support. The training was aimed at making them become trainer of trainers in order to help disseminate the message across their communities.
The nurses or service providers trained comprised midwives, medical assistants and community health nurses, while the youth were students trained as peer educators and condom distributors.
While the main role of the service providers would hinge on integrating into the state facilities, the non-traditional condom distributors would focus on pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, STIs, prevention.
Opening the forum, the National Co-ordinator of Pathfinder International, Ghana, Mrs Dorothy Maame Donkor, urged women to avail themselves of the available opportunities to enlighten themselves about ARH issues.
She said the trained service providers and the peer educators would undertake outreach programmes in schools, churches, workplaces and other social gatherings to educate young people in the communities on ARH issues, providing the necessary counselling or referrals when needed.
According to the co-ordinator, to facilitate their work and movement, each of the peer educators had been provided with a bicycle, raincoat, pair of boots and a bag with adequate reference materials on the subject to enhance their duties.
Mrs Donkor explained that Pathfinder International, an international non-profit organisation, was committed to improving the lives of women and families by building local capacity to provide and sustain high quality family planning and reproductive health services.
She said in Ghana, PI began work in April 2001 with the launch of the African Youth Alliance (AYA) project, adding that they had, in collaboration with the UNFPA, established four youth counselling centres in the Ho Municipality, Akatsi, Ketu-South and South Tongu districts in the Volta Region.
“Since 2006, PI Ghana, under its Youth-Friendly Services (YFS) project, has trained over 80 nurses and 148 youth in four districts of the Volta Region to sensitise the people, especially women, to support and protect their reproductive and general health,” she noted.
Mrs Donkor added that this was part of the PI’s effort at improving the overall adolescent sexual and reproductive health and reducing the spread of the HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections in the country.


Cocoa purchases in the Volta Region have been on the decline due to cocoa smuggling, in spite of the interventions made by the Government over the years to revamp the industry in the region.
The Volta Regional Manager of the Produce Buying Company (PBC), Mr Prosper Zegbla, has lamented that from its peak in the 1999/2000 season when the region recorded over 11,000 tonnes, purchases have continuously dwindled to as low as 400 tonnes in 2009/10 season.
The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), however, realising the demise of the cocoa industry in the region due to various factors, introduced various interventions such as the hybrid cocoa seeds and mass spraying exercise to rejuvenate the farms.
Apart from that, COCOBOD has also subsidised the cost of fertilisers, rehabilitated or constructed roads to the cocoa growing areas, introduced the Akuafo cheque system and the scholarships scheme for children of cocoa farmers.
Mr Zegbla said cocoa smuggling was the major factor contributing to the low purchases in the region, adding that the smuggling activities were undertaken by agents from the Republic of Togo, who enticed the farmers in the rural areas with ready cash, saving them from having to carry their heavy produce over long distances to the buying centre.
“These people are ready to buy the cocoa beans fresh from the pods and at higher prices than offered by the COCOBOD,” he said.
The Regional Manager, for instance, said the Togolese agents bought a bag of dried cocoa beans for between GH¢ 220 and GH¢240 as against the GH¢ 138 paid by COCOBOD.
Mr Zegbla appealed to cocoa farmers in the region to reciprocate the Government’s efforts to keep the farmers alive by selling their produce to the PBC and its registered agents.
He said the Government took into account all their needs when introducing the interventions and packages to keep them going. He also urged the farmers to remember that the Government would introduce more juicy packages if they sold more of their produce to the PBC.


The Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Kwadwo Nyamekye-Marfo, has called on the various municipal and district assemblies (MDAs) in the region to patronise Graphic Nsempa, a weekly newspaper  published by the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL)  for the Brong Ahafo and Ashanti regions.
He said the publication had helped to bring the development challenges confronting the assemblies in the two regions to the fore and would enable all stakeholders to find a lasting solution to them and also publicise their activities.
He added that  the publication was also the first bilingual newspaper which presented the same news stories  in English and Akan, thereby giving its readers the opportunity to read the news in their native language.
Mr Nyamekye-Marfo said this  when the Brong Ahafo Regional Manager of the GCGL, Mr. Charles Addo Bampoe, called on him at his office to congratulate and present to him some souvenirs of the company.
The regional minister also lauded the management and staff of GCGL for promoting the region  and the activities of the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) through the various publications of the company.
He said since he assumed office as the regional minister, he had received a lot of support from the various media houses in the region, especially from GCGL.
Mr Nyamekye-Marfo expressed regret over the incident that happened last year in which some media personnel were attacked at the BA@50 Awards ceremony and gave the assurance that such an incident would not recurr.
Ealier, Mr Bampoe appealed to the Minister and the RCC to use its offices to impress on the various MDAs in the region to patronise Graphic Nsempa and other publications of the GCGL to enable them to also enjoy maximum coverage.
He stated that the GCGL  would continue to work with the RCC for their mutual benefits and the development of the region.


THE Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Kwadwo Nyamekye-Marfo, has commended officers and men of the 3 Garrison in Sunyani for their role in ensuring peace and stability in the region.
He said their role had enabled the people of the region to go about their activities peacefully.
The regional minister said personnel of the 3 Garrison, apart from helping to maintain peace in the region, had continued to play a critical role in restoring peace in conflict areas in the country, especially Yendi and Bawku, in addition to serving in international peacekeeping operations.
"You have participated in several operations such as "Calm life" and "Halt Illegal Chainsaw" to help reduce the crime wave in the region and also protect the environment and you have never hesitated, any time you are called upon, to perform any task. More kudos to you," he added.
Mr Nyamekye-Marfo made the commendation at the 2 Independent RECCE Squadron end-of-year party dubbed ‘’WASSA" (West African Soldiers Social Activities) at the Sabre Mess of the squadron at the Liberation Barracks in Sunyani.
The 2 Independent RECCE Squadron, under the Armoured RECCE Regiment in Accra, is a unit tasked to support the Northern Sector Command of the Army and is based at the Liberation Barracks in Sunyani.
The end-of-year party was organised for troops and their families to show appreciation for their dedication and work done the previous year and also bring together all families under one roof to enhance espritde corps and inter-family unity.
Mr Nyamekye-Marfo, in his brief remarks as the guest of honour, noted that despite the logistical constraints, the military continued to perform its traditional role as mandated by the Constitution and gave the assurance that the government was also committed to meeting those challenges for the military to discharge its duties efficiently.
The Brong Ahafo Regional Minister further pledged the government’s commitment to solve the perennial water problem faced by personnel at the Liberation Barracks and also rehabilitate all the roads in the barracks to make life there comfortable for them and their families.
Lieutenant Colonel J.K. Akou-Adjei, the Commanding Officer (CO) of the Armoured RECCE Regiment, for his part, urged the wives of personnel and their families to stay united and eschew infighting to achieve harmony and peaceful co-existence at the barracks. The wives should also support their husbands to discharge their duties efficiently.
He called on personnel to continue to play their traditional roles of supporting the northern command in whatever mission it had to undertake.
The Officer Commanding (OC) 2 Independent RECCE Squadron at the Liberation Barracks in Sunyani, Captain Abdul Bashiru Issah, in his welcoming address, lauded personnel of the unit for their contribution towards internal and external peacekeeping and peace support operations.
He thanked his superiors, especially Lt Col Akou-Adjei, the CO of the 3 Infantry Battalion, Lt Col Lithur, and the regional minister, for their support to the squadron and expressed the hope that it would enjoy the same co-operation and support from them and the public this year.


Newcomers Dormaa Ahenkro based-Aduana Stars under Coach Herbert Addo on Saturday kept their unbeaten home record intact when the curtain was drawn on the first round of the Glo premier league. They defeated visiting Obuasi Ashgold by a lone goal at the Nana Agyeman Badu Sports Stadium at Dormaa-Ahenkro.
 The only goal of the match which enabled the homesters to secure the maximum three points at stake was scored by Kwame Frimpong, the leading marksman of Aduana Stars, on the 12th minute of the first half through a goal mouth melee.
 Right from the blast of the whistle of Tema-based Class One Referee, Patrick Assisah, both teams exhibited good play but it was the visitors who dominated in ball possession but failed to convert that into a goal till the homesters took advantage of a goal mouth scramble in the early minutes of the game to win the day.
 In a post match interview, Coach Addo told the Daily Graphic Sports that he was going to secure the services of two prolific and experienced strikers to enhance the goal scoring ability of the team when the second round resumes.
 He noted that goal scoring had been the problem of the team and hoped that when that was done the team would spring a surprise in the elite division this season.                                                                                         

Monday, February 22, 2010


The newly elected Brong Ahafo Regional Functional Executive Committee (FEC) of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has expressed its satisfaction with the manner President J.E.A Mills and his team have so far managed the administration of the nation.
According to them, the processes and strategies put in place by the government to manage the huge debt portfolio bequeathed the NDC government by the previous administration, create jobs, promote education and health among other sectors were laudable.
The committee also impressed upon the party’s numerous followers to rally behind the government in its effort at addressing the numerous challenges confronting the nation.
In a release issued to the press in Sunyani and signed by Mr Justice Samuel Adjei, the Regional Secretary, it said the regional FEC made the observation at its first meeting held in Sunyani to appraise the state of the party in the region and also to outline and discuss an action plan for the party for the first quarter of 2010.
It said the regional FEC had also followed closely the recent developments within the NDC and had come to the realisation that there had been conscious effort by a section of Ghanaians to consistently and tirelessly launch destructive criticisms at the NDC administration, headed by President Mills, with the aim of derailing whatever the government had achieved over its short stay in office, thus destroying the stability, cohesion and unity of the NDC government.
“We therefore, express concern about these negative developments and call on all members and sympathisers of the party to bury their differences and forge ahead in unity, so that together, we can work to retain power in 2012,” the release said.
“Running an administration in a democratic dispensation such as ours demands a lot of patience, tolerance and resilience, which are the basic ingredients of ensuring a cohesive and unified action, while at the same time ensuring that we do not compromise on the basic need for achieving accountability, rule of law and good governance, while exacting sanctions where and when there are infractions on the law,” it noted.
Meanwhile, all is set for the NDC National Youth Conference scheduled to take place in Sunyani, the Brong Ahafo Regional capital, on Saturday, January 9, 2010.


The Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Kwadwo Nyamekye-Marfo, has urged municipal and district assemblies (MDAs) to consult small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) before fixing their fees.
He said such consultations would help the assemblies to fix fees that would not cripple the SMEs, but help them to thrive and create jobs for the teeming unemployed youth.
Mr Nyamekye-Marfo made the call at the launch of the Berekum Education Endowment Fund and inauguration of earth-moving machines for the Berekum Municipal Assembly at Berekum.
At the same ceremony, a GH¢12,000.00 package was presented to 30 graduate apprentices. It included auto spraying machines, hair dryers and sewing machines sponsored by the Government of Ghana, Business Advisory Centre (BAC), African Development Bank (AfDB) and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
Mr Nyamekye-Marfo advised the graduate apprentices to use the tools and equipment as start-up capital to establish their small-scale businesses and impart their skills to others.
Touching on the education endowment fund, the regional minister said the fund would help support academically promising but needy students from the area to pursue higher education.
Mr Nyamekye-Marfo called on public-spirited individuals and organisations to contribute to the fund to sustain it.
The regional minister advised that the fund should not be disbursed on a partisan basis but on merit. He, however, added that more attention should be given to those offering science programmes and female students.
Mr Nyamekye-Marfo said with the acquisition of a grader and a caterpillar, the municipal assembly would ensure that all roads in the municipality, especially the feeder roads, were in good shape.
He called for a proper maintenance regime for the earth-moving machines to enable them last longer.
The Berekum Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Mr Lord Stephen Oppong, paid tribute to the late Omanhene of Berekum, Nana Yiadom Boakye for establishing educational institutions which benefited renowned personalities such as Dr Kwadwo Afari Gyan, the Chairman of the Electoral Commission and a former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Professor George Benneh.
He said the current education fund had been established by the municipal assembly to benefit present and future generations.
Mr Oppong thanked members of the Berekum Municipal Assembly for supporting him and unanimously agreeing to use part of the assembly’s share of the District Assemblies Common Fund as seed money to establish the fund.
He said with the acquisition of the earth-moving machines, the Brenyekwa-Seikwa, Senase-Kato, Kyiribaa, Mpatasie, Ampenkro, Koraso, Ayimon, Akatim, Kyireyawkrom, Nkyekyemaamu, Abansere and other roads would be upgraded.
A former Deputy Minister of Education, Mr Kwabena Kyere, who chaired the function, stressed the need for what he termed “positive discrimination” where female students would be given the needed motivation and support for them to acquire higher education.


The Asutifi District Assembly in the Brong Ahafo Region has taken delivery of a grader and a tipper truck valued at GH¢385,843.20 to help put in good condition feeder roads leading to food production centres and other areas in the district all year round.
Consequently, the assembly has decided to set up a committee to come out with guidelines governing operations of the equipment to ensure its sustainability.
The Asutifi District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr Eric Addae, who announced this at the first ordinary meeting of the fourth session of the assembly held at Kenyasi, the district capital, said a token would be charged for the use of the equipment in order to generate some funds for its maintenance to extend their lifespan.
He said further that he had, on behalf of the assembly, submitted a proposal during his recent visit to the United States of America (USA) to the Chief Executive Officer of Newmont Ghana Gold Limited, operators of the Ahafo Mine in the district, to donate to the assembly a bulldozer and a wheel loader for the improvement of the road network of the district.
“I am happy to inform you that the proposal has received the needed attention from Newmont and the assembly would hopefully take delivery of these equipment by the first quarter of 2010,” he said.
Mr Addae, in his address, announced that the assembly was in the process of preparing the 2010-2013 District Medium-Term Development Plan in accordance with Section 1 (3,4), 2 to 11 of the National Development Plan (System) Act 1994 (Act 480).
He, therefore, called on all stakeholders in the district to make an input.
He commended Newmont for its contribution to the development of the district, saying as a major stakeholder, its input would be required to enable the assembly to come out with a rich document that would stand the test of time.
Touching on the assembly’s internally generated funds (IGF), Mr Addae said the assembly did not perform badly, and that at the end of October 2009, the assembly had been able to generate GH¢560,514.29 out of the estimated local revenue target of GH¢582,160.00, representing 96.28 per cent of the expected revenue.
He, however, said one major problem the assembly continued to grapple with was the non-performance of the revenue staff, and that the chunk of the assembly’s revenue came from Stool Land Revenue.
In order to improve upon revenue mobilisation in 2010, Mr Addae said the assembly had adopted a number of strategies.
These include the setting up of targets for revenue collectors, capacity building, re-activation of the District Revenue Task Force, registration of all contractors operating in the district, re-valuation of properties in the district to facilitate imposition of realistic rates on properties and sensitisation of the public to the need to honour their tax obligations.
The DCE for Asutifi announced that the assembly received a total of GH¢657,549.94 as its share of the District Assemblies’ Common Fund (DAFC) for the first and second quarters of the past year.
Out of the figure, he said, only GH¢269,127.80 was actually received by the assembly.
The remaining amount was disbursed by the Administrator of Common Fund on behalf of the assembly,

on expenditures such as the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP), National Association of Local Government (NALAG) dues, waste management, fumigation and the procurement of a tipper truck and grader by the assembly.
He commended the assembly members for burying their differences and coming together to work for the progress of the district.
“Let me note that I have so far enjoyed a wonderful working relationship with both assembly members and staff of the assembly, and hope that your co-operation and collaborative spirit would be sustained as we enter the new year and see us executing more development programmes to better the lives of the people in the district,” he stated.


The government has secured a $10billion facility from a Korean firm for the construction of housing facilities for security personnel in the country.
Apart from the security agencies, health workers and teachers, and other categories of workers across the country will also benefit from the facility.
The Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Kwadwo Nyamekye-Marfo, said this at an end-of-year party, dubbed WASSA (West Africa Soldiers Social Activity), at the Liberation Barracks in Sunyani.
The party, which was aimed at fostering unity among the various ranks of the 3 Infantry Battalion (3BN), civilian employees and their families, was attended by members of the Regional Security Council (REGSEC), some personnel of the other security agencies including the Police, Prisons, Fire Service and a cross-section of the public.
It was held at the poolside at the Liberation Barracks.
Mr Nyamekye-Marfo said the Liberation Barracks in Sunyani would also be a beneficiary of the housing project that would go along way to ease the accommodation problem of personnel at the barracks.
He stated further that the government was also committed in meeting the logistical constraints and other operational needs of the GAF and the other security agencies in the country to enable them to discharge their constitutionally mandated roles effectively.
Mr Nyamekye-Marfo also used the opportunity to commend the military as well as the other security agencies for the role they played in ensuring a peaceful general election.
The Brong Ahafo Regional Minister paid glowing tribute to the GAF for its role in international peacekeeping operations which, he said, was part of their efforts in helping to bring peace to conflict areas around the world and in the country.
Mr Nyamekye-Marfo noted that the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) was also grateful to the 3BN who have been assisting in maintaining peace in the region, adding that apart from this, personnel of the 3BN had also been engaged in other operational activities to prevent crimes such as armed robbery and the protection of the environment dubbed “Operation Calm Life” and “Operation Halt Illegal Chain Saw”.
He, therefore, expressed the hope that the GAF would continue to play their traditional role of ensuring the sovereignty of the state and its territorial waters, especially the oil fields in the country when they started operating next year.
Major Cornelius Kobla Lithur, the acting Commanding Officer of the 3 Garriosn, in his address reminded all ranks of the need to conduct all their operations in accordance with the military standard operating procedures and laid-down rules of engagement.
“It is very important for us all to recognise that in the current democratic dispensation, the rule of law prevails and as such our activities must conform to this vital constitutional provision”, he emphasised.
Major Lithur further urged the officers and men of the 3 Garrison to resolve to exhibit high levels of tolerance even in the face of extreme provocation, pledging that the command would continue to strive hard to improve on their relationship with civil society in order to engender peaceful co-existence for national development.
Prizes were also presented to winners of fun games held at the barracks, which preceded the party.