Don’t compromise on GARID project – Dan Botwe

The Minister of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural De­velopment, Dan Kwaku Botwe, has served notice that his outfit would not spare officials of the various assemblies if they compromise the implementation of the Greater Accra Resilient and Integrated De­velopment (GARID) Project.

According to him, government is committed to solving the annual flooding the city has been experi­encing and any officer’s action or inaction which defeats the pur­pose of the project would not be tolerated.

He explained that unlike in the past where funding was reduced to assemblies for not properly implanting projects, officers must take the bullet for their negligence which would expose innocent residents to danger.

“This year, I had to intervene to say that I do not see the reason why that old lady at Banana Inn would have to (suffer the brunt of rainfall) because the engineer, planning officer, the coordinating director or the chief executive did not do what they are supposed to do so we should reduce their allocation.

“If the money is reduced, it means you won’t get enough mon­ey to do desilting and who suffers? It is that poor person whiles you the implementing officer nothing happens to you.

“That is why we say that people should not suffer because of your non-performance. Any officer of the assembly who fails to perform his function will be dealt with in line with section 226 of the Local Governance Act. Be clear about that.”

Mr Botwe gave this warning when he interacted with staff of the Ablekuma Central Municipal Assembly during a working visit of the area on Monday to ascertain the progress of implementation of the project.

His working tour took him to the Ablekuma West, North and Central municipalities where he saw first-hand the progress of implementation, challenges the assemblies were confronted with and ways forward.

At the Ablekuma West and Central municipalities, the various major drains and streams were desilted and dredged for free-flow of water with work ongoing in some areas.

In the Ablekuma North area, however, works the MCE told the minister, would commence today;

 an assurance the minister said would be strictly monitored.

The GH¢3 million GARID Project, which translates into GH¢420,000 for each assembly, is aimed at providing capacity sup­port grant to 17 assemblies within the Odaw basin to use to maintain and operate infrastructure in their respective jurisdictions.

The project amount, accord­ing to Mr Botwe, who is also the Member of Parliament for Okere would be scaled to GH¢7 million to enable the Assemblies do more.

He said whilst assemblies had hidden behind the unavailability of funds to perform their func­tions because they had to refi­nance them, the GARID Project disbursed the funds and works undertaken must be paid from that source.

“With this project, money has been transferred to you since March 31 and any contractor who works should be paid.

“Yours is to do the paper work and because you fail to do that we should make the ordinary person suffer? No. It won’t happen again. If it happens, we will narrow down on the officer and you would be held responsible because governance must get closer to the people and work to alleviate their sufferings.”


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