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15.12.2005 General News

90% of grant on PPTAP disbursed - Project Manager

By GNA
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Kumasi, Dec.15, GNA - Management of the Promoting Partnership with Traditional Authorities Project (PPTAP), has so far disbursed about 3.72 million dollars out of the 4.5 million dollars grant provided by the World Bank.

This represents about 90 per cent of the grant disbursed, Mr. Josuah Osei-Hwedieh, Project Manager announced in Kumasi on Wednesday. However, he said the project's current liabilities stood at about 1.5 billion cedis.

The liabilities, Mr Osei-Hwedieh explained, were withholding of taxes from the payment of contractors who intended to pay to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Mr. Osei-Hwedieh, presenting his report at a stakeholders forum said, management of the project had therefore, made a formal request through the Ashanti Regional Minister to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning for assistance.

To date, he said, about 95 per cent of the reconstruction and rehabilitation of primary school buildings, libraries and teachers' residential quarters as well as other social amenities in all the 40 pilot communities in Ashanti region have been completed. Mr. Osei-Hwedieh said paramount chiefs, queen mothers and people from the pilot communities had benefited from training sessions and workshops, organized by the project.

The Project Manager said a partnership manual that would act as a template to guide the partnership between Traditional Authorities and the Government in improving basic education and enhancing information flow for monitoring and adoption by other traditional areas and organizations had been developed.

Mr. Osei-Hwedieh expressed regret that the counter-part contributions from Traditional Authorities were still very low despite some contributions from the District Assemblies. He said a proposal for scholarship scheme and incentives for pupils and teachers was under discussion for implementation with the Oversight Committee, Ministry of Education and Sports and the World Bank.

The Project Manager announced that some Traditional Authorities had proposed to work with producers to re-plant the forests that had been depleted as a result of the handicraft industry while others were currently preparing plans to develop some sites into tourist destinations.

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