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14.07.2004 Regional News

GAC approves C400 million to National House of Chiefs

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Kumasi, July 14, GNA - The Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC) has approved an amount of 400 million cedis to be made available to the National House of Chiefs (NHC) for HIV/AIDS education in the various traditional areas.

Two hundred million cedis out of the amount had already been deposited in the accounts of the House, Odeneho Gyapong Ababio 11, President of the NHC has announced.

Addressing the first meeting of the House in Kumasi on Tuesday, he called on the various traditional councils to organise AIDS education programmes in their various areas so as to enable the House to release the money to them.

Odeneho Gyapong Ababio, who is also the Omanhene of the Sefwi-Bekwai Traditional Area, noted the rapid spread of the pandemic over the years and said it was only through massive education that there could be change in the habits of the people to check the spread of the disease.

He announced that, government was to provide funds for the construction of a modern office complex for the NHC on its 10-hectare land at Asenua near Kumasi. The Public Works Department (PWD) had therefore been tasked to prepare the site plan and drawings.

The President of the NHC said the office complex would comprise a conference hall, while every Regional House of Chiefs was expected to construct a five-bedroom bungalow to house its members, adding that, the area would be called the National House of Chiefs Village.

Odeneho Gyapong Ababio said last year, the government released an amount of 50 million cedis for the rehabilitation of the offices, which was being undertaken by the PWD.

He said the house had finished working on the new Chieftaincy Bill and forwarded it to the Attorney General's Department and that it would soon be sent to Cabinet and expressed the hope that it would be placed before the current Parliament before it was dissolved.

The President thanked the House for the co-operation and active participation of members in all the deliberations of the House and expressed the hope that they would continue with the same enthusiasm to help modernise the chieftaincy institution.