The President of the Republic of Ghana, H.E Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has stated that, he will continue to prove wrong, critiques who doubted his campaign promises in the 2016 general elections as the Free Senior High School [SHS] Programme had started successfully in 2017 and had since been running effectively for over one year now.
President Nana Addo made the statement at a durbar of the Chiefs and People of the Bongo Traditional area in the Upper East Region as part of his two-day working visit to the Region. He noted that one by one, his Government was gradually delivering all that it had promised to do for the nation. He said there were physical examples to show for these as the Nurses and Teacher-Trainee allowances had also been restored while, the “One Village, One Dam” (1V1D) programme too had started in the Bongo District. He announced that two of such dams had been completed already at Kabre and Kuyelingu while a third, was ongoing in the Ayopia community.
Giving additional details on the Free SHS Programme, President Nana Addo added that last year alone, the programme took in 90,000 more students into the SHS school system than in 2016. He gave the assurance that with the needed funding secured, the programme estimates to double this intake to 180,000 students in 2018. He made it clear that “Senior High School Education is free and is here to stay in Ghana forever and ever” as he drew thunderous cheers and applause from the audience including some SHS students who had paraded roads in the district capital to welcome him.
President Nana Addo pledged that government would continue to look for innovative ways to ensure that the programme was sustained and expanded in the near future. He disclosed that for instance, the sector ministry had secured clearance for the employment of 8,000 additional teachers for postings to the various SHS throughout the country before end of 2018.
On the 1V1D programme, he revealed that about 570 dams were earmarked for construction in the Upper East, Upper West and Northern Regions and that, Bongo was to receive 10 of these dams in 2018 alone.
The President who had earlier in the day cut sod for the construction of the Bongo-Balungu-Namoo road said, the contractor had the capability to deliver a good job and was to finish the works within 12 calendar months. He noted that many places he visited, he was inundated with requests for road projects but said though these often needed huge capital to undertake, his government would not turn a blind eye to such important demands by the people.
Touching on the Planting for Food and Jobs programme, he noted that in 2017, several thousands of subsidised fertilizers, improved seedlings and other farm inputs were distributed to over 200,000 farmers across the country of which 30,000 farmers from the Upper East Region benefited while Bongo District had 5,000 of this number. “This year, it is our intention to increase the number of farmers under the programme to 500,000”, the President assured.
Paramount Chief of the Bongo Traditional Area, Naba Baba Salifu Atamaale Lemyaarum in his welcome address at the durbar, commended the President for his quick response to the people’s cry for the construction of the Bongo-Balungu and Namoo roads which had been in very poor condition for a long while now. He however revealed that a total feeder road network of 78.9 kilometres were currently under various stages of construction across the district.
Naba Lemyaarum made a passionate appeal to the President to construct a modern district hospital for the area promising that, there was adequate land for such a project. He explained that the current facility serving the whole district could not measure up to the standards of a proper district hospital as it lacked a mortuary, an ambulance and other vital departments while children and females shared a common ward.
Meanwhile, the second day of the President’s tour took him to the Builsa North District where he cut sod for the construction of an ultra-modern two-storey headquarters for the Sandema Police Command. He also inspected ongoing works on a grains’ warehouse in the area after which he addressed a well-patronised durbar of the chiefs and people of the Builsa Traditional Area.
Source: Peter Atogewe Wedam (ISD)