Agona-Nkwanta (W/R) April 22 -GNA- As from the next academic year, the Ghana Rubber Estates Limited (GREL) would offer scholarships to four students from its operational areas, who gain admission into Senior Secondary Schools.
Mr. Marc Genot, acting Managing Director, said details of the scheme, which would begin in September, is being planned by the company, the chiefs and other stakeholders.
He announced this on Friday at the sod-cutting ceremony for work to begin on a 200 million cedis secretariat for the association of chiefs on whose lands GREL operates (ACLANGO) at Agona-Nkwanta in the Ahanta West district.
The project, which is scheduled to be completed in September, would comprise offices, a conference hall and other facilities.
Two bedrooms would be provided during the second phase of the project. Mr. Genot said the project is ample testimony of GREL's desire to establish strong relationship with the communities on whose lands the company operates.
He expressed the hope that this and other facilities, some of which are in the pipeline would promote mutual understanding and peaceful coexistence between GREL and the people.
The GREL acting Managing Director said the company would provide five million cedis every month towards the operational cost of the association and also support the annual Kundum festival of all the seven traditional areas.
Awulae Agyefi Kwame II, Paramount Chief of Nsein, and chairman of the association expressed the people's appreciation of the efforts of GREL to support the area's development.
He however, expressed dismay at the lukewarm attitude of the Government towards the chiefs' demand for 15 per cent shares in GREL using the land on which the company operates as equity.
They are also demanding a share of rents paid by GREL to Government since 1996.
A petition on these issues was presented to the Government in June 2003, but nothing concrete had been done, he noted. Awulae Agyefi Kwame said the demands of the chiefs are legitimate and this would be pursued to its logical conclusion. Mr. Kwesi Binney, District Chief Executive for Ahanta West appealed to GREL to raise the number of scholarships to seven to benefit each of the traditional areas on which the company operates.