The Local Government and Rural Development Committee of Ghana’s Parliament has commended the Acting District Chief Executive [DCE] for the Bolgatanga East District in the Upper East Region, Hon. Emmanuel Abugre Abole for his proactive interventions and his alertness in ensuring value-for-money on the almost-completed new assembly block complex.
The Member of Parliament [MP] for Banda, Hon. Ahmed Ibrahim who is the First Deputy Whip of the Minority Caucus in Parliament and a member of the Committee’s delegation, praised the DCE after the delegation received a briefing on work done so far on the project and what was outstanding. He noted that the DCE was up-to-date with information and other pertinent details about the project unlike other districts the delegation had already visited, where his colleague DECs knew almost nothing about projects ongoing in their own districts.
The MP noted that whenever matters of national development come up, they should be dealt with dispassionately without political colourations. Using the very composition of his Committee as an example, he said on their rounds nationwide, they gave praise where praise was due and also offered appropriate criticism where it was proper to do so but not acting like “opposition must necessarily criticize government”.
Meanwhile, Hon. Abole in his briefing notes to the Committee disclosed among other things that, the new assembly block complex costing a little over two  million Ghana Cedis, was awarded in August 2018 shortly after he took office as the pioneer DCE for the youngest district in the region. He reported that, the actual works began early November the same year and that, about 2.4 million Ghana Cedis had so far been paid to the contractor with completion ratings pegged at 95 percent.
Hon. Abole revealed that, the District was birthed by the Legislative Instrument [LI] 2350, subsequently got inaugurated in March 2018 and has since been operating from an inherited block hitherto belonging to the Department of Agriculture. He therefore called on authorities above him to whip the contractor to speed up and complete the final bit of the works mostly, furnishings and other minor defects so as to make room for his staff to move in to continue work in a more congenial environment.
According to the DCE, his Assembly has not been able to lay hands on the contract document in order to be better informed about the peculiar details and components of the structure but nonetheless, his technical staff have been able to point out certain obvious defects in the project and gotten the contractor to fix them. He said sadly, the contractor had constantly refused to serve his office a copy of the contract details and so, he had to work his way through the consultant to learn at first-hand, what the works entailed.
He however assured the Committee that, there was an outstanding certificate his Assembly was yet to append its signature to climax payments to the contractor but that he would not do so, until all defects and certain critical fittings like burglar proof barricades at the windows, provision of emergency exits, electrical installations and the likes were properly done. In all, the new assembly block will have a little over 20 rooms.
Meanwhile, the Vice Chairman for the 20-member Local Government and Rural Development Committee who is also the MP for the Ahafo Ano North constituency, Hon. Sulemana Adamu Sanid also led the delegation to inspect the construction of an assembly block project in the Tempane district, another assembly block in the Kassena-Nankana West district, a court facility in the Garu district and yet, another assembly block in the Bongo district.
In a related development however, Management of the Assembly had earlier in the afternoon hosted a team from the Ministry of Finance’s Fiscal Decentralization Unit. The deliberations related to the 2019, 2020 and first quarter of 2021 monitoring assessment tool.
BY PETER ATOGEWE WEDAM
DISTRICT INFORMATION OFFICER