By NANA YAW DWAMENA October 08, 2019 116605 945979 comments

Chiefs and people in the Bono Region have praised development initiatives being rolled out by the government to improve the lot of citizens and build a secure foundation for Ghana’s development.


They are especially enthused by President Akufo-Addo’s boldness and determined vision in initiating and implementing policies that his political rivals repeatedly said were impossible, and cite the Free Senior High School policy as a prime example.

According to traditional rulers, led by the Dwenemhene, Nana Bofo Bene IV, who is also vice-president of the Bono Regional House of Chiefs, the President deserves special commendation for his unalloyed commitment to education and especially for implementing Free SHS.

Cynics proved wrong

“Others said it was impossible. You, President Akufo-Addo, on the other hand, said you would do it. You came into office and you have done it. You have seen to the realisation of Free SHS,” Nana Bofo Bene said yesterday.

He made these remarks when the President paid a courtesy call on paramount chiefs and queens of the Bono Region at the start of a two-day tour of the region.

“If no one will commend you for Free SHS, we, the people of Bono Region, will gladly do so,” the paramount chief declared. “Congratulations, Nana. Today, a child from a village like Boadwo has been admitted to study at St James’s Seminary and Senior High School as a result of your commitment to broadening access to education.”

Touching further on the policy, the Dwenemhene said even the relatives of those who oppose Free SHS policy are beneficiaries of the intervention. “Those who claim Free SHS is not good have all been shamed,” he said.

Since last month, 1.2 million children ‒ the largest number of students ever enrolled in senior secondary school in Ghana’s history ‒ have been benefiting from the policy.

The Dwenemhene however appealed to President Akufo-Addo to address issues regarding the categorisation of senior high schools in the Bono Region through the Ministry for Education.

He also stressed the need to improve tourist attractions in the region, saying they can be a catalyst to job and wealth creation for the people of Bono.

Trainee nurses

Earlier in Sunyani, hundreds of trainee nurses from the Sunyani Nursing and Midwifery Training College welcomed the President to the region with appreciation for his government’s restoration of their allowances.

The John Mahama-led NDC government scrapped trainee nurses’ allowances in 2014.

Wielding placards with inscriptions such as “We don’t need JM back to cancel our allawa”, “We are happy for the allawa”, “Nana nie, allawa nie” and “Our parents thank you for allawa”, the trainees mobbed President Akufo-Addo.

As of now, about 51,130 trainee nurses are receiving allowances at nursing training and midwifery colleges across the country, with roughly GHC410 million disbursed so far, 20 months after the revival of the payment scheme.

Nearly two years ago, on October 10 2017, President Akufo-Addo addressed students at the Sunyani Nursing and Midwifery Training College and announced the restoration of trainees’ allowances.

At the time, the President said the decision to restore the allowances was not “mere political rhetoric or campaign talk”, nor was it meant to deceive the trainees to give him their votes.


“It was much more than that,” President Akufo-Addo said. “We believed, and still believe, that Ghana needs all the nurses and health-care workers she can get, if the nation is to have a solid, world-class health-care system. And we think it is necessary to provide the relevant incentives to make that possible.”

Bemoaning the cancellation of the allowances by the Mahama government, President Akufo-Addo noted that this single action brought untold hardship to the thousands of nurses and midwives in Ghana who depended on the bursary.

The cancellation, the President said, left many trainee nurses demotivated and demoralised.

“The New Patriotic Party and I heard your cry, and assured you of the restoration of these allowances if we won the election.
“By the grace of God, and by the generosity and trust of the Ghanaian people, I am here today as President of the Republic, ready to fulfil the pledge we made to you,” he said, to rousing applause from the packed auditorium at the school.

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