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23.12.2006 General News

Associations of Garages react to allegations

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Executive members of the Ashanti Regional branch of the Ghana National Association of Garages said on Friday that their withdrawal from the committee mandated to see to the disbursement of a Business Sector Advocacy Challenge (BUSAC) fund was informed by genuine reasons.

The fund was granted to a coalition of the various artisan groups at the Suame magazine known as the Suame Magazine Industrial Development Organisation (SMIDO) for the development of the magazine to an appreciable standard for increased productivity.

They said it was not true that their withdrawal was as a result of their opposition to the mission statement and ideas of SMIDO.

A statement by the executives and signed by the Regional Chairman of GNAG, Mr John Damptey, consequently cautioned the leadership of SMIDO to refrain from peddling lies and unsubstantiated allegations about them.

Giving the background to their withdrawal from the committee, the statement said in August one George Asamoah, an executive member of SMIDO, informed the other member associations at a meeting that 70 million cedis out of a total of the 700 million cedis' BUSAC fund the organisation was seeking had been granted.

It said to ensure transparency in the usage of the fund an apex steering committee, comprising representatives of the other artisan groups, was constituted to see to the disbursement and monitoring of the fund.

The statement expressed shock that in spite of these moves to ensure accountability in the funds usage, some executive members of SMIDO, especially Mr Asamoah who claims to have initiated the programme, consistently put impediments in the way of the committee in their attempt to see to the fairness and transparency in the disbursement of the fund.

"In view of this, we had no choice than to withdraw from the committee to prevent a situation where the name of the mechanics at Suame magazine would be used by some people to misappropriate the fund".

The executive members underscored the need for members of the various artisan groups to be committed to ventures that would promote unity among them with a view to turning the Suame Magazine into a technologically advanced centre.

Source GNA