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12.08.2004 General News

Western University College to become autonomous

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Tarkwa (W/R), Aug. 12, GNA - The Cabinet has approved the proposal to grant the Western University College at Tarkwa an autonomous status. Vice President Aliu Mahama announced this when Osagyefo Kwamena Enimil VI, Omanhene of Wassa Fiase Traditional Council, reiterated the request for a full university status when the Vice President paid a courtesy call on him in his palace in Tarkwa.

The University, at present, is part of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.

Vice President Mahama told the chiefs that their request for a Nurses' Training College would receive favourable response. He said the Government would continue to provide development projects to improve their standard of living and urged them to monitor such projects in their areas to ensure that they were properly executed. He told them to support the Government's efforts to maintain peace and security at all times for the progress of the nation to proceed uninterrupted.

Osagyefo Enimil apologised to the Vice President for his inability to attend the grand durbar organised in his honour, saying his desire to be at the function was curtailed by internal conflicts, which he was determined to resolve.

Palace sources said the Chief adhered to a security caution to stay away from the durbar grounds because some opponents had planned to embarrass him at the function.

The Vice President later addressed a grand durbar at Prestea, where the residents turned out from all corners of the mining town to welcome him.

He announced that the Government was considering interventions that would streamline the operations of small-scale miners and support their operations with high-tech equipment to reduce the negative impact of their operations on the environment.

He advised the people, especially chiefs, to attract investments in agro-processing to their areas and use their land as equity to own shares in the businesses.

The Vice President advised the people to use the electricity they had been provided with to set up cottage industries to improve their incomes and to take advantage of the facility to encourage their children to study in the night.

Papa Owusu-Ankomah, Minister of Justice and Attorney - General, said the Government would continue to encourage the freedom of speech, however, those whose activities threatened the peace and progress of the nation would be dealt with in accordance with the law. He said following the due process of law might be time-consuming but once offenders had been found guilty they would not be spared. Dr Kwaku Afriyie, Minister of Health, announced that the National Health Insurance Scheme would be fully operational by December, and asked the people to pay their levies.