Obomeng-Kwahu, Mar. 27, GNA - Vice President Aliu Mahama has commissioned a 1.1-billion-cedi palace for the chiefs and people of Obomeng-Kwahu with a call on them to regard the education of their children as the bedrock of their development.
He said the proposed educational reforms, though expensive, would be implemented because of the significant role of education in personal and national development.
The reforms would also meet the constitutional requirements of the Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education (FCUBE) this year, intended to give every Ghanaian child at least basic education. Vice President Mahama, who commended the people for the unity and peace that led them to put up the palace, stressed the need for them to maintain those values, which were requisite for the sustenance of the country's fledgling democracy.
He also praised them for their entrepreneurial spirit and urged them to expand their businesses to their hometowns to offer employment to the youth there.
He noted that the project was executed with the technical advice from the Building and Road Research (BRRI), Kumasi, and advised prospective developers to take a cue from the chiefs by using local materials which were less expensive but more durable.
The Palace of Nana Obeng Akrofi I, Obomenghene, which was pulled down in 1997 to give way for a modern one, now houses a museum, offices, conference rooms, guest rooms and other facilities.
The Vice President, who explained the government's deregulation of the petroleum policy to the people, said it became necessary to, among others, raise enough taxes to cut back on over-dependence on donors for capital development and bring Ghana's pricing in line with others in the West African sub-region to reduce smuggling.
He, however, emphasized that government was sensitive to the plight of the people and would not take any decisions that would bring untold hardships to the people as it was taking measures to make Ghana a just, humane and prosperous nation.
He referred to the dangerous access road network in the Kwahu Ridge and assured them that everything would be done to secure funding for their reconstruction, adding that the 11-kilometre Nkawkaw-Atibie stretch had been awarded on contract. Their water problems, he said, would also be addressed in due course.
On the HIV/AIDS pandemic, Vice President Mahama cautioned the people that as they celebrated the Easter Afahye, they should constantly reminded themselves of the reality of the disease and avoid contracting it.
The Eastern Regional Minister, Mr. Yaw Barimah commended the people for their unity of purpose to complete the palace and urged them to continue with such spirit of hard work to accelerate development.
He stressed the need for unity and peace among the chiefs and people of the Kwahu area to enable them to reap the "dividends of democracy" which, he said, they had long worked and suffered for. Mr Barimah referred to the launching of the para-gliding festival in the area on the same day, noting that it was going to attract more tourists to the area and urged them to provide the required peace to make the project a success.
The Chief of Obomeng, Nana Obeng Akrofi, commended the Okwahumanhene Dasebre Akuamoah Boateng for helping to solve the chieftaincy dispute in the town leading to unity, which enable them to construct the palace.
He appealed to the government to assist the people construct a vocational institute, for which citizens of the town abroad had already procured machines, as well a solution for the poor water supply and roads facing the area.
Dasebre Akuamoah Boateng, who chaired the function, asked the people to maintain the palace for posterity and appealed for the completion of the roads rehabilitation programme in the area. Earlier, Vice President Mahama paid a courtesy call on Dasebre at his Abetifi Palace and assured the people of Kwahu that they would receive their fair share of the national cake.