Stop abandonment of state facilities!

The Black Star Square, otherwise known as Independence Square, a national monument, is fast deteriorating.

For instance, across all its eight stands are visible signs of leaking roofs, broken seats, hanging live electrical wires and faded paintings, which together disfigure the edifice.

It is unfortunate that managers of the country’s state properties have to wait for them to deteriorate to a disturbing state before they make any move to repair them.

Even at this point, it often takes some media publication(s) to push the concerned state institution(s) to act.

It would be recalled, for example, that on Thursday, November 4, last year, the Ghanaian Times reported that the Koforidua Jubilee Park was in deplorable state and that it could be in irreparable ruins if urgent steps were not taken about it.

This is one of the parks built in 2007 in the country’s regional capitals to mark its 50th Anniversary or the jubilee of its independence.

The Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) of New Juaben South Municipal Assembly, Mr Isaac Appaw-Gyasi, under whose jurisdiction the park is, responded days later that the assembly had budgeted for the renovation and that work would be in two phases.

True to his word, the first phase was tackled before the end of last year.

Two weeks after the Koforidua story, we published another story of abandonment.

That one was about a 120-kilowatt (KW) capacity gas production plant and seven-tonnes-per-day mechanized gari processing factory at Asueyi, near Techiman, in the Bono East Region.

The facility initiated by the Ministry of Agriculture was completed in 2017 but had not been operated before due to a technical fault discovered in one of its burners.

At the time, we learnt that the faulty burner had been sent back to Brazil by the Brazilian contractor for replacement but had since 2017 not been returned.

Regarding the case of the Black Star Square, a high-placed source at the Public Works Department (PWD), Prestige, former managers of the facility, says a comprehensive audit of the facility had been submitted to the Ministry of Works and Housing in 2016 but little had been done to restore its integrity.

The source adds that the management of the facility had been transferred to the Office of the President.

Meanwhile, the Estates Manager at the Office of the President, Barbara Mills-Tetteh, says a letter should be addressed to the Chief Director, Office of the President, for him to point out the “appropriate person who can answer questions orspeak on the matter”.

Is it bureaucracy at work or Mills-Tetteh displaying her lack of command over state facilities under her care or lack of enough information about them?

It is clear the Estates Manager is not aware of the current state of the Black Star Square and this is a pity.

The cases of abandonment of state properties, including monuments, should be the concern of all Ghanaians so they would ask questions.

Are public officials, including politicians and those working directly under them, particularly their appointees, discharging their duties as expected of them?

On the day we published the Asueyi story, we also wrote an editorial titled ‘Punish abandonment of state property’.

We still stand by that position.

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