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25.07.2005 Regional News

Regional Minister inaugurates Board of Trustees for two bodies.


Sekondi, July 25,-GNA- The Board of Trustees for the Western Regional Cocoa Farmers' Housing Scheme and the Regional Education Fund were jointly inaugurated at Sekondi on Monday.

Mr Wilson Arthur, Chief Executive Officer of Skyy Power FM in Takoradi is the Chairman of the 11-member Trustees for the Education Fund. Nana Nkuah Okomdom 11, Omanhene of Sefwi Wiawso Traditional Area, is the Chairman of Seven-member Trustees for the Cocoa Farmers' Housing Scheme.

Inaugurating the Board of Trustees, Mr Joseph Aidoo, Western Regional Minister, said the Board of the Housing Scheme would be managers of the Trust Fund for the Scheme.

He said the Board would be responsible for policy decisions, programme determination, regulation and sustainable management of the funds for the scheme.

Mr Aidoo said the scheme would operate on a Trust Fund that would be self-sustaining.

Mr. Aidoo said apart from the seed money that was being used to initiate the project, funds would be sourced through annual premiums by prospective owners, returns on investment and requisition of grants, among others.

He said the first batch of the houses would be completed before the end of the year and the farmers would own the houses and payment would be by instalments.

Mr. Aidoo said the standard of education is falling constantly in the region and the result of this is that only a few people end up in universities and other tertiary institutions.

He said at the basic level, the future of education in the districts is bleak and children between the ages of 8 and 16 in some cases with the consent and approval of their parents, engage in galamsey mining activities.

Mr. Aidoo said this negatively impacts on them and ruin their lives during their formative periods.

He said, "Our avowed aim is to improve upon the present state of education in the region and the Fund is intended to assist needy pupils and students and educational institutions both private and public". Mr. Aidoo said development of primary school education is a priority because it would be a tragedy if children of school going age were allowed to ruin their lives through artisanal mining.

He said the first Regional Homecoming Summit Committee on Education recommended the establishment of the Fund.

Mr Aidoo said as a result of the recommendation, the President pledged 200 million cedis, Regional Coordinating Council, 100 million cedis and the British-America Tobacco, 100 million cedis.