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17.10.2008 Education

GH¢60m Spent On School Feeding

By Daily Guide

Kwadwo Adjei-Darko THE GOVERNMENT has as of September this year spent an amount of GH¢52,133,075.00 for the School Feeding Programme, which was started in 2006 to provide a meal a day to school children.

The Minister for Local Government, Rural Development and Environment, Kwadwo Adjei-Darko, who disclosed this on the floor of Parliament yesterday, said an additional amount of GH¢8,580,051 had just been released for this month, bringing the total amount to GH¢60,723,156.22.

Out of the total amount, the minister pointed out that the Dutch Government had so far released GH¢7,998,672.00 with the Government of Ghana providing the rest.

Hon. Adjei-Darko, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Sunyani West, was answering a question by National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for Central Tongu,

Joe Gidisu, as to how much had been spent so far on the programme and what was being done to expand the scope of the programme.

On the issue of expansion, the minister stated that measures were in place to add 100,300 pupils during this fourth quarter to bring the total number of pupils on the programme to 576,383 with 1,557 schools benefiting.

Although Hon. Adjei-Darko said he could not project the future of the programme, he was optimistic that it would eventually cover all the pupils in Ghana.

The minister was also questioned by Hon. Alex Kyeremeh, MP for Techiman North, concerning the construction of a court building started by the Techiman Municipal Assembly eight years ago which had been abandoned.

In answering the question, Hon. Adjei-Darko informed the House that the information available to him was that the assembly on January 27, 2000, awarded four contracts which included the construction of the court, a 4-story administration block, a guest house and a community centre.

According to the minister, the four projects started simultaneously and the assembly, upon realizing that its finances could not support all the projects, met from September 27-28, 2008 and decided that the construction of the court building be suspended until the other projects were completed.

The assembly, the minister continued, wrote to the contractor- Yeddras Company Limited, through the Brong-Ahafo Regional Consultant, AESL, notifying him of the suspension until otherwise directed by the assembly, adding that as of the time of the suspension, the sub-structure had been completed and columns erected.

“Mr. Speaker, it is worthy to note that the construction of the guest house and the community centre have been completed while what is left of the 4-story administration block are laying of tiles, fixing of doors and windows, and painting and decorations. It is anticipated to be completed by December, this year,” Hon. Adjei-Darko disclosed to the House.

The minister noted that in view of this, a budgetary provision of GH¢100,000 had been allocated for the construction of the court complex in the assembly's 2009 budget yet to be approved.

Meanwhile, the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Freddie Blay, who was on the Speaker's seat, had to defer the deliberations of the continuation stage of the National Pension Reform Bill to today because the House could not form a quorum for such a matter as stipulated by the Standing Orders of the House.

The proceedings on the Bill were about to start when the Deputy Minority Leader, Doe Adjaho, raised the question of quorum, arguing that it would be in violation of the Standing Orders of the House to deliberate on the matter when there was no quorum.

Hon. Adjaho, who was supported by Hon. E. T. Mensah, MP for Ningo Prampram; Hon. Paa Kwesi Nduom, MP for Komenda Edina Eguafo Abrem and Hon. Ken Dzirasah, MP for South Tongu, noted that the issue of pension was not just an ordinary matter that should be dealt with without the full House to contribute to the deliberations.

By Awudu Mahama