The day of commissioning
After a state-of-the-art renovation, 20th July, 2012 was fixed for the commissioning of the new Regional Secretariat.
Rev. Fr. Dominic Andoh prayed to begin the programme around 11:00am. The Chairman for the occasion was Nana Kyei Baffour II, the Asemhene, who is also Otumfour’s Chief Farmer. Indeed Nana was dressed in his royal regalia, which added a royal touch to the programme.
The Special Guest of Honour was the Ashanti Regional Minister, who was represented by Mr. Samuel Nnuro Amponsah Director, (Ashanti Regional Coordinating Council), Mr. Joseph K. Onyinah, the Ashanti Regional Director of Education who was the Guest of Honour. Other dignitaries who graced the occasion were Mr. Christian Addai Poku (NAGRAT President), Mr. Eric Angel Carbonu (NAGRAT Vice President), Mr. Stanislaus P. Nabome, (the General Secretary of NAGRAT), Mr. Christian Oklah Odue, (the Deputy General Secretary), Mr. Seth Oduro Boadu (the Financial Secretary), and Ms Majorie Afenyi (the Publicity and Organising Secretary). Also present were Mr. Abubakar Yakub (Headmaster Real Amass), Mrs. Theresah Commey (Headmistress St. Louis Senior High School), Mr. Acheampong (Headmaster Nyanahin Catholic Senior High School), Mr. Bonsu (the GNAT Regional Secretary), Rev. Fr. Dominic Andoh, Mr. Boamah-Duku (the immediate past Regional Chairman). The following Regional Chairmen were there: Mr. Patrick Agboyibor (Greater Accra Region), Mr. Kwaku Gyan (Eastern Region), Mr. Bright Bedzrah (Central Region), Mr. Samuel F. Dadzie (Western Region), Mr. Callistus Sung-Yera (Upper West Region), Mr. John Brown Chiravira (Upper West Region), Mr. Abdulsamad Mustak (Northern Region), Mr. Jacob Anaba (Brong Ahafo Region).
The Regional Officers whose untiring efforts led to this unprecedented success are Mr. Paul Stanley Essaw (Regional Chairman), Mr. Simon Boachie–Mensah (Regional Vice Chairman), Mr. Richmond Oteng Frimpong (Regional Secretary), Mr. Ahmed K. Boampong (Assistant Regional Secretary), Mr. James Adjei-Mensah (Reg. Financial Secretary), Mrs. Harriet K. Annan (Regional Treasurer) and Mr. Samuel Yeboah Best (Publicity/Organising Secretary). Some Zonal Chairmen and Regional Council Members including Mrs. Adelaide Biyaa-Powers (Ladies of Excellence Coordinator) were also present.
Media men from some FM Stations, some Print Media as well as some TV Stations were on hand to cover the programme. The MCs for the day were Mr. Emmanuel Essel of Garden City Radio and Mr. Richmond Oteng Frimpong (the Regional Secretary NAGRAT Ashanti).
In his opening remarks, Nana Kyei Baffour II admitted that he had come to realize that NAGRAT is indeed a strong force to reckon with. In his welcome address the Regional Chairman, recounted the history of NAGRAT in the region. He intimated that Ashanti Region has chalked another first by being the first region to have its own bonifide office. He added that the membership strength of the region stood at two thousand, three hundred and eight-four (2,384) when the current executives took office in December, 2009. But through hard work, the number is now five thousand, two hundred and eleven (5,211) as at June, 2012. He also paid a glowing tribute to all former Regional Chairmen, for initiating different projects during their tenure of office.
On his part Mr. Christian Addai Poku, the NAGRAT President could not hide his joy about the strides the association is making, especially the Ashanti Region. He commended the Regional Officers for their hard work, as well as their bold initiatives. He appealed to the other regions to work very hard, otherwise Ashanti would “Colonise” NAGRAT. He assured members of the associations’ commitment towards providing strong, safe and smart union services.
Mr. J. K. Onyinah the Regional Director of Education, urged the executives of the association to fuse their quest for seeking the welfare of members with the responsibility of being committed to their teaching profession. He also urged the association to consider secondment for some of their officers for effective work, so that they don’t absent themselves from school frequently.
The Regional Minister’s Representative Mr. Samuel Nnuro-Amponsah (Director, Ashanti Regional Coordinating Council) admitted that NAGRAT has come a long way within this rather short period, and the commissioning of the office is a clear demonstration of what a determined group of people can do for themselves where there is unity of purpose. He urged other Public Service Workers to emulate this laudable initiative of NAGRAT. Mr. Amponsah further said that the government is mindful of the challenges teachers are going through and will do all it could to address them. He added that the implementation of the Single Spine is a bold decision by the government to improve the remuneration of workers, even though there are challenges. He therefore urged NAGRAT to dialogue with government in addressing the myriad of challenges facing teachers.
Nana Kyei Baffour, Mr. S. Nnuro-Amponsah, Mr. J. K. Onyinah Mr. Christian Addai Poku and Mr. Paul Stanley Essaw jointly cut the sod to commission the office, after which Rev. Fr. Dominic Andoh blessed the offices. In his closing remarks, Nana Kyei Baffour II appealed to NAGRAT to use the office to help members of the association and relate better to the general public. He asked the executives to ensure regular maintenance of the building. The two storey building is valued at Eight Hundred and Twenty-One Thousand Ghana Cedis (GH¢821,000.00), including the outright purchase of the building, renovation works, furnishing, etc.