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Regional News of Monday, 18 February 2008

Source: GNA

Suspend LEAP - Poly students urge

Accra, Feb. 18, GNA - The Ghana National Union of Polytechnic Students (GNUPS) on Monday asked government to suspend the implementation of the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) project for public discussion to solicit opinion and acceptance. GNUPS said though the LEAP project was commendable, the "ill-state of existing government initiated social programmes has provided the basis for doubt with regard to the success of LEAP".

At a news conference in Accra, Mr Abass Salifu, President, GNUPS, cited alleged lapses in the implementation of programmes like the school feeding, capitation grant, health insurance and youth employment and questioned whether such programmes had been successful.

The press conference was organized by GNUPS to share its thoughts on some national issues, those affecting the Union as well as to announce its 31st Annual Week to be launched in Tamale on February 25. According to Mr Salifu, GNUPS as a body was worried about the time of the LEAP project, the money to be allocated to each household and the method of identifying poor households to ensure that the right people did benefit from the "taxpayers monies and not sympathizers of political parties".

GNUPS further registered its objection to the proposal of mobile phone talk time tax and urged government to rather employ other innovative ways to create jobs for the unemployed youth instead of "subjecting the Ghanaian to all forms of taxes and making life difficult for the unemployed youth."

On the upcoming elections, the Union called on the Electoral Commission to remain independent and "maintain its integrity in holding yet another successful election to the admiration of the world. "We also call on all political parties to carry out their campaign on issues that will benefit the Ghanaian rather than insults. To the media, please be circumspect in your activities." On issues directly affecting GNUPS, Mr Salifu said the National Council for Tertiary Education, the National Board for Professional and Technical Examination (NABPTEX)and the Conference of Polytechnic Rectors should come together to resolve the conflicting clauses in the Polytechnic and the NABPTEX Laws to bring order in the issuance of certificate to polytechnic students.

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