Our lead story today says 12 years after fire swept through the then Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration office complex, in Accra, the 10-storey building has been left unattended to.
The edifice suffered the unexpected on October 21, 2009, and since then the facility, which shares a compound with the Accra Regional Passport Office, near Tema Station, has not been renovated for use by the ministry or even any other public organisation.
Our story says the huge building is at the mercy of the weather and that plants have grown on some upper floors with their branches peeping through the windows, while the structure has become a safe haven for creatures.
It continues that efforts to ascertain explanation from the ministry has not been successful for the last three months, as a letter the Ghanaian Times submitted to the Director of Administration of the Ministry, upon request on April 20, 2021, has not been replied to, despite follow-up visits and numerous telephone calls to the ministry’s Bureau of Administration.
However, a source at the ministry told the Ghanaian Times, that the ministry had plans for the structure, but stakeholders were yet to settle on timelines for assessment of the structural integrity and renovation.
The Ghanaian Times is saddened by the state of affairs of the Foreign Affairs building and also by the source at the ministry.
Definitely, having suffered burning and the vagaries of the weather for 12 years, the structural integrity of the building, no doubt, would not be the best.
The Ghanaian Times is so much worried about the way state officials treat public property.
We know how public officials deliberately allow state property to deteriorate so they can consign it to the trash can, and yet find ways and means to acquire them.
The Ghanaian Times believes that if the building in question were out of public eye, all this talk about its structural integrity and waiting for stakeholders would not be heard; rather some officials somewhere would have devalued it and disposed it off.
Twelve years is too long for any reasonable and patriotic public official to allow such a facility to rot to the extent that it would attract much more expenditure than when it suffered the fire outbreak.
Even if the law of causing financial loss to the state cannot be applied here, there must be some administrative sanctions against deserving officials.
How many of our public officials would have waited for 10 years before a decision would be taken on the renovation of their bungalows, for example?
Can state officials testify that all of them have comfortable and spacious office accommodation for which reason the office complex should be allowed to rot away?
Even if that is the case, can’t that building be fixed and given out for commercial purposes, looking at its location or be converted into staff accommodation for a state organisation.
State officials should accept without any question that the neglect of this strategic national property is a huge blot on their integrity and any love they profess for the country.