Government spends 12 million Ghana cedis on educational infrastructure in Central Region
Nana Ato Arthur, Central Regional Minister on Thursday said Government had spent about 12 million Ghana Cedis on 62 projects in education in the Region.
He said most of them had reached various levels of completion and expressed appreciation to the management of Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund).
Nana Arthur announced this at the Fourth Central Regional Meet the Press series in Cape Coast.
It was attended by Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives, Heads of Departments, and students to brief them on Government's achievements in the Region since 2001.
They included achievements on Security, Tourism Development, Trade and Investment, Education, Health, Agriculture, Infrastructural Development, Electricity, Water, Telecommunications and Roads.
Nana Arthur said, under the capitation grant, enrolment in schools increased from 438,891 during the 2004/2005 academic year to 494,842 during 2005/2006 and about GH¢1.25 million was released in 2005/06 to support the programme.
He said 63 schools with 29,993 pupils benefited from the School Feeding Programme, with Mfantsiman District having the highest number of 11 schools.
Nana Arthur said since the commencement of the programme in September 2005, Government had spent about GH¢6.3 million.
However, he noted that in spite of its initial problems the programme had not only contributed to increase in enrolment but has also offered jobs to other people and provided a ready market for farmers in areas for beneficiary schools.
Nana Arthur commended the Central Regional Education Directorate for the successful implementation of the new education reform which took off in September 2007.
He said the Region had in addition, benefited from the provision of vehicles to improve the quality of education from the basic to the tertiary level.
Nana Arthur commended Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa District Assembly for providing loan facilities to farmers to expand their farms to increase production to support the programme and urged other assemblies to emulate them.
On health, he said there had been an increase in the provision of CHPS compounds from 41 in 2006 to 52 in 2007 while OPD attendance had increased from 863,385 in 2006 to 1,643,618, in 2007.
There has also been increase in medical practitioners from 50 in 2006 to 64 in 2007 and nurses from 942 in 2006 to 1,121 in 2007.
Nana Arthur acknowledged contributions of NGOs such as Plan Ghana, Prolink, Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG) and World Vision International for their continuous support in Reproductive and Child Health and HIV/AIDS.
He commended the Central Regional Secretariat of GPRTU for their collaboration with Ghana Health Service for free transportation of pregnant women to health facilities adding, “We still need to support our women to further reduce maternal and infant mortality ratio.”
Nana Arthur said there were currently seven infrastructural development projects being executed at GH¢592,233.53 to enhance efficient health service delivery in the Region.
He commended scheme managers of the National Health Insurance Scheme for the increase in clients from 558,726 to 731,742 as at December 2006 and increase in premium collected from GH¢530 million in 2006 to GH¢940 million in 2007.
Nana Arthur said assistance from the National Secretariat of NHIS increased from GH¢1.61 million to GH¢2.416 million, an increase of 49.7 per cent and paid GH¢5,024,518.01 to health providers under the scheme.
On agriculture, he said 40,522 farmers benefited from 3,090 demonstrations which involved improved crop production techniques, chemical weed control, correct use of agro-chemicals, disease-pest control, integrated Crop Pest Management (ICPM), organic manure use and plantain paring.
Nana Arthur said, 1,645 farmers benefited from the supply of plantain plantlets, high yielding potato and cassava planting materials, Jasmine Rice Seed and agro-input distribution and insecticides and premix fuel were distributed to spraying gangs under the Cocoa Spraying Exercise.
He said rehabilitation and expansion of Kwanyaku Water Supply System, Baifikrom Water Supply Project – Rehabilitation and Augmentation and the rehabilitation and expansion of Cape Coast Water Supply Project at Sekyere Heman were 99 per cent complete.
Nana Arthur said, under the DANIDA Community Water Project, a target of 150 new boreholes were set for 2006, and 132 of them had been undertaken out of which 53 had been fitted with hand pumps while installation of hand pumps on the remaining 79 boreholes was ongoing.
On security, he said the Region had had its fair share of security problems ranging from narcotic drug peddlers, armed robbery and general criminal activities, but had been one of the relatively peaceful areas in the country.
However, he noted that chieftaincy and land disputes remained the greatest challenge in the Region and the “Committee of Eminent Citizens” was formed to ensure the amicable resolution of the many disputes.
Nana Arthur said personnel of security agencies in spite of their tremendous efforts, faced many challenges in inadequate residential accommodation for staff and logistics, especially vehicles.
He said Government would continue to provide them with vehicles, equipment and other logistics to help maintain law and order.
However, Nana Arthur appealed to the public to support the Ghana Police Service with logistics and relevant information to enhance its operations to provide security for people in the Region especially during Election 2008.
There was an exhibition on development projects in the Region.