12.10.2007 General News

NGOs urged to be sincere in fund utilization

By Accra Mail
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Nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) in the country have been advised to develop strong and innovative ways of generating funds internally to minimize the delays and disappointments associated with over-reliance on donor funding.

They should also be sincere in the utilisation of funds for projects and not use non-existent communities to raise funds for their personal use.

Dr Seidu Al-Hassan, a Lecturer at the Economics Department of the University for Development Studies (UDS), gave the advice at a "Northern Ghana Forum on Education" in Tamale.

The Northern Network for Education Development (NNED) an NGO, organised the forum for stakeholders in education, Members of Parliament, educationists, traditional rulers, NGO leaders and heads of departments.

The two-day forum discussed measures that would help to address the educational imbalance in the three Northern Regions and offer suggestions to the Government to bridge the gap between the North and the South.

Dr Al-Hassan said there was a mixed feeling about the contribution of NGOs to the accelerated economic growth and poverty reduction of beneficiary countries particularly, the developing nations, where poverty was endemic.

Dr Al-Hassan noted that while some of the NGOs were doing well in terms of fund utilisation, others were using their organisations as means and sources of employment instead of applying the funds for the intended purpose.

He called on NGOs to build strong collaboration with one another, as well as an effective collaboration and harmony with the public sector for development, efficiency and sustainability.

Mr. Robert Akurigo Ajene, a retired educationist, expressed regret over the decline in education in the three Northern Regions and attributed the situation to colonial policies that relegated the North to the background in terms of education and other development.

Mr Ajene criticised the establishment of a scholarship scheme, which allowed only children of cocoa farmers and not children of labourers of cocoa farms to benefit.

He described this as a direct discrimination and called for a second look at the issue to allow children of cocoa farm labourers to also benefit from the scheme.

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