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24.03.2004 General News

In Just Two Weeks, Kufour Lies Twice

By The Searchlight

In just two short weeks, the Head of State, Mr John Agyekum Kufour, has been caught in two serious lies to the people of Ghana.

The first life is Mr. Kufour's claim that the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFUND) had provided funding for the preliminary phase of the project to set up a National Institute of Phytochemistry and Molecular Biology in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region. The second lie is Mr. Kufour's claim at the launch of the National Health Insurance Scheme that government is the guarantor of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust.

Both claims, the Searchlight can prove, are outright lies. In an address to the 16th Annual General Meeting of the West African Postgraduate College of Pharmacists in Accra on Wednesday March 10, Mr. Kufour told the assembled international gathering in a speech read on his behalf by the Minister of Agriculture, Major Courage Quarshigah, “it is in this direction that the Government welcomed and accepted the proposals from a team of researchers supported by the Faculty of Pharmacy of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi for the establishment of a National Institute of Phytochemistry and Molecular Biology in Kumasi.

“When established the Institute would have the state of the art facilities for the development of our national resource … plant medicine and the training of medical and allied scientists in the use of these. “The government is working hand in hand with our European Union Counterparts to source funds for the establishment of this centre of excellence, the first of its kind in the West African Sub-Region.

The GETFUND has already accepted in principle to support the development of the Institute and has already provided funding for the preliminary phase of the project.”

On Monday the Administrator of Banahene, categorically told the newsmen that, the Fund has not paid out pesewa towards this National Institute of Phytochemistry and Molecular Biology. Mr. Banahene's answer to a question as to whether the fund had given any money towards the Institute was brief and to the point, “We haven't given them money yet.

Mr Kufour's claim that the GETFund has 'accepted in principle to support the development of the Institute' is also thrown into further doubt by Distribution Formula for GETFund approved by Parliament for this year. The approved distribution formula does not even acknowledge the existence of this institute. Sources at the National Council for Tertiary Education punched even further holes into Mr. Kufour's assertion, stating that, even though the project was considered last year, because it was not properly handled, it was not even put on the agenda for this year.

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