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23.05.2004 General News

NGOs that divert funds to be brought to book

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Ziavi-Bamefedo (Volta Region), May 23, GNA - Mr Yaw Barima, Minister of Manpower Development and Employment, on Saturday said non-governmental organisations (NGOs), which have diverted funds meant for development projects, would be brought to book.

He regretted that only 200 out of the registered 2,100 NGOs in the country had presented their audited accounts to the Ministry for perusal to justify the preferential tax regime that such organisations enjoy.

Mr Barima was addressing the Chiefs and people of Ziavi-Bamefedo, in the Ho District, after inspecting a block of Junior Secondary (JSS) being built with funds sourced by Ghana Outlook, a Ho based NGO.

The block of three-unit classroom with stores and offices, which would replace a thatched structure, would cost about 6,400 pounds sterling. The NGO would also fund the completion of a pavilion for the primary school.

Mr Barima said government lacked enough resources to enable it speedily close the big gap in opportunities between the urban and rural schools and therefore welcome collaborative efforts of NGOs to improve education in the country.

He expressed regret that children from poor schools, some without tables and chairs took the same examinations with those who attended well resourced educational institutions.

Mr Barima appealed to individuals to contribute to the improvement of infrastructure of schools in their areas to enhance teaching and learning.

He said every child had the right to be given quality education to prepare him for the job market where only people with skills found good employment.

Mr Barima praised the people for their communal spirit, which enabled them raise the project to almost the roofing level in six weeks.

Mr Mawutor Goh, Ho District Chief Executive, said many school buildings in the district were more than 100 years old and needed replacement adding that some communities never had school buildings and operated classes from structures roofed with thatch.

He pledged that the District Assembly would provide roofing sheets for the Ziavi-Bamefedo school project and called on individuals and organisations to help tackle poor school infrastructure in the district.

Mr Joseph Achana, Director of Ghana Outlook, said the NGO would endeavour to assist rural communities with educational needs.

He said Ghana Outlook had put up school buildings, sunk boreholes and assisted people infested with guinea worm with aqua boxes in the district.