Completed projects in C/R communities idle

•    Mr. Aquinas Quansah —  Central Regional Minister

• Mr. Aquinas Quansah —
Central Regional Minister

The lack of consultations to determine the communities’ actual deeds has rendered many projects undertaken in the Central Region, useless.

Currently, 56 of the 862 completed projects in the region are not in use, due to the district assemblies’ failure to conduct proper needs assessment.

As a result, markets situated at Biriwa in the Abura-Asebu-Kwamankese District,  Benin  in  Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa, and  Ankamu in the Gomoa West district, have all become white elephants.

The Central Regional Economic Planning Officer, Mrs Lucy Owusu-Ansah tasked all metropolitan, municipal and district  assemblies  (MMDAs) to consult residents regularly, before the execution of projects to ensure the needed transformation.

Mrs Owusu-Ansah said this at a forum to discuss the monitoring findings on the utilisation of the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF) and other development interventions in the region.

It was funded by the European Union (EU) to track activities of the district assemblies to ensure that they conformed to the objectives set out in the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda (GSGDA II) and the 2010-2013 & 2014-2017 medium-term development plans.

Organised by the Central Regional Planning Committee Unit of the Central Regional Co-ordinting Council (RCC), it was attended by co-ordinating directors, planning officers as well as budget officers from all the 20 MMDAs in the region.

It formed part of a series of train-ing programmes organised for members of the  District  Plannining  Committee Unit and the Regional Planning Committee Unit, last year, which was also funded by the European Union.

Mrs Owusu-Ansah explained that projects carried out solely for political gains always trauncate the gains made in the development of the various districts and said that the assemblies must follow the required development plans.

She further urged the various assemblies  to ensure  that performance reports on composite budget were prepared quarterly and discussed at both management and finance and administration sub-committee meetings.

Warrants, she indicated, should be issued when funds are available, explaining that, “Orientation should be given to core staff of the Assemblies on how to prepare cash plans”.

On the monitoring of projects in the region, Mrs Owusu-Ansah pointed out that routine supervision and periodic monitoring of projects were not intensive and regular due to lack of requisite logistics.

“This accounted for 14 per cent of absolute contract sum of all projects” she said, noting that site meetings were not held regularly for on-going projects as minutes could not be traced on file.

“Generally, funds were not readily available for payments of works executed on projects. The release of DACF and other funds delayed unduly. This meant that MMDAs that had low internally generated funds (IGF) or relied on other sources of funds could not have functioned properly without the release of statutory funds,” she indicated.

She also said that a considerable number of projects were without signage, saying, “This was evident when the monitoring team together with the districts’ own inspection team could not locate some project sites”.

Mrs Owusu-Ansah mentioned that about 158 GETFund projects were at a standstill while 239 projects representing 26% of absolute contract sum of all projects in the region were completed on schedule.

“This means that 74% of total projects delayed (behind schedule), were virtually at a standstill and others completely abandoned,” she said.

At the district ranking state, Mfantseman placed first with Gomoa West emerging second while Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa district took the last position among all the 20 MMDAs in the region.

From David O. Yarboi-Tetteh,Cape Coast

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