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.