OVER 90 per cent of development projects initiated by the Pru District Assembly during the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) regime have either been uncompleted and abandoned or were not started at all, the Pru District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr Masawud Mohammed, has said.
According to him, huge sums of money were also paid to the contractors who were awarded these contracts and efforts by the assembly to get the contractors to complete or begin them had proved futile.
Addressing the first assembly meeting at Yeji, the district capital, over the weekend, Mr Mohammed mentioned some of the projects that had been abandoned as school projects at the Abease area while work on the district assembly administration block has not started yet.
He mentioned that work on the new staff and district chief executive’s residences had stopped while the site for the proposed district jubilee school could not be traced.
Beside, Mr Mohammed said, the assembly also failed to contribute its 10 per cent counterpart funding for the Development Partners Projects such as the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA), Social Investment Fund (SIF), and the Community Based Rural Development Project (CBRDP) but rather withdrew huge sums of money from those donor funded accounts.
“We had the unpleasant duty to refund an amount of GH¢15,000 into the CBRDP accounts which was wrongly withdrawn and used for operational activities, before an additional grant of GH¢105,000 was approved to implement new projects for the year,” the Pru DCE added.
Also, Mr Mohammed said, withdrawals were made from the Common Fund accounts. He gave the breakdown of the withdrawals as GH¢18,000.00 from the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP), GH¢13,663.52 from the CBRDP, GH¢3,980.00 from the CWSA and GH¢7,000.00 from the M-SHAP accounts bringing the total to GH¢42,643.52.
The Pru DCE also said the assembly inherited a debt of GH¢1,175,920.02 (¢11.75billion) and gave the breakdown of the indebtedness as GH¢ 1,035,023.04 being outstanding balances on on-going projects, GH¢54,495.63 as outstanding balances on certificates of contractors not paid, GH¢42,643.52 as outstanding on borrowings from development partners accounts and GH¢43,757.53 as outstanding bills payable.
Notwithstanding this huge debt owed, Mr Mohammed said the assembly was committed to ensuring that work on all the ongoing projects was completed by the end of the year.
He said some of the projects earmarked for completion before the end of the year were the new staff and DCE bungalows, two were three-unit classroom blocks with ancillary facilities at Ajaraja Beposo and the Yeji Methodist Primary School, a new district health insurance office complex, provision of security lights at the Yeji market and the facelift of the Yeji township and lorry park.
The Pru DCE said under the CWSA project, Prang would benefit from the Small Town Water Supply System while 32 boreholes would also be constructed district-wide and about 12 kilometres of the Yeji township roads would be tarred.
Mr Mohammed said the assembly would also formulate policies to manage solid and liquid waste in the district and clear garbage that was gradually swallowing the inhabitants up, which had made the district one of the filthiest in the country.
On revenue generation, he said, the Pru District was next to Techiman, which had been rated as the highest local revenue generating area in the region, and urged the Finance and Administration Subcommittee of the assembly to assist by monitoring revenue mobilisation activities and utilisation for the benefit of the people.
On health, Mr Mohammed said the district lacked professional health personnel and appealed to the government to consider establishing a health training institute in the district to help train health personnel for the district to ensure quality healthcare service delivery.
He expressed his gratitude to the assembly members for confirming him as the DCE and urged them to bury their ideological and political differences and forge ahead in pursuance of a common goal aimed at improving the living conditions of the people.