Council directs MMDAs to hand over all completed projects
The Central Regional Coordinating Council (CRCC) has directed all Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to hand over all completed projects for use by the intended user agencies and beneficiaries.
It said there was no justification to hold on to them, while the people continued to suffer the same conditions for which they were established with deteriorating standards of living.
A monitoring team of selected District Assemblies’ Common Fund (DACF) and District Assemblies Common Fund – Response Factor Grant (DACF-RFG) projects in the 22 MMDAs in the region revealed that some 26 completed projects across 14 districts were not in use for various reasons.
The figure represented 25 per cent of all 103 completed projects out of the 163 projects inspected across the region.
The exercise revealed that some of the completed projects were dormant, because they were either awaiting commissioning or the supply of complementary facilities such as furniture, electrical and water connections.
Affected districts include Gomoa Central, Upper Denkyira East, Upper Denkyira West, Cape Coast, Agona West, Efutu, Agona East, Mfantseman, and Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem.
A single court complex at Agona Nsaba in Agona East for instance, was not in use because it was awaiting commissioning by the Chief Justice, a report from the monitoring indicated.
Similarly, a 12-unit market shed, stores and a toilet facility at Dominase in Komenda Edina Eguafo Abrem had been closed because they had not been officially commissioned.
At Awutu Senya, a three-Bedroom staff accommodation at Awutu Bereku was yet to be handed over and a three-unit classroom block, office and store block with ancillary facilities at Nkwankyemaso at Twifo Atti-Morkwa also awaited commissioning.
While a three-unit classroom block at Gomoa Oguakrom in Gomoa Central was not occupied for the lack of furniture, another three-unit classroom block with four-seater toilet at Gomoa Benso was idle because the Ghana Education Service had not obtained a permit to operate it as a model school.
Mr Bless Darkey, the Regional Budget Analyst, presenting the key findings at a dissemination workshop, indicated that while it might be politically expedient to commission the projects, that did not form enough grounds to subject the people to continuous suffering and inconvenience.
“If you put up a project without being used, you have done nothing. The times in which we find ourselves present the opportunity to be innovative and prudent in using our limited resources to benefit our people in the community.
In his recommendations, he stated among others , “So, we should try as much as possible to minimise these things. When you are done with these projects, please make sure you hand them over as quickly as possible so that they can benefit the people,” he said.
He urged the Assemblies to ensure that projects that had been handed over were used because they had audit implications.
Mr Darkey said basic planning demanded that critical elements such as human resource and other logistics were procured simultaneously with the execution of the projects to make them immediately useful when completed.
“So, you do not put up a project and wait for another year or two to get the human resource and other equipment before they are put into use.
“We need to collaborate with other key stakeholders and agencies to ensure that as the projects are going on, all the other amenities are being put in place,” he emphasised.
Presenting the findings of the monitoring exercise, Mr Fred Nyame, Senior Planning Officer at RCC, explained the objective of the exercise was to, among other things, monitor the application of DACF and DACF-RFG for the purpose of improving effective and efficient physical project implementation.
It was also to inspect and ascertain first hand information on project implementation and the extent to which completed projects had been put to use, he added.
He said of the 163 inspected projects, 77 were funded with DACF and the remaining being DACF-RFG projects.
He said 57 were under the education sector, 40 belonged to the health sector, 26 were under governance, 18 were economic projects, water and sanitation projects had five and three were for the security.
Aside the 103 that were completed, he indicated that 57 others were ongoing and while three had been abandoned.
Mr Nyame observed that most of the completed projects were funded by DACF-RFG while those under DACF could not be completed on schedule, with some of them abandoned due to erratic release of funds.
Other issues discovered by the exercise included both completed and ongoing projects, incomplete procurement processes, irregular site meeting and poor supervision, he added.
For her part, Mrs Justina Marigold Assan, the Regional Minister implored the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executive (MMDCEs) and the Coordinating Directors to practise effective contract administration.
She enjoined them to complete all uncompleted procurement processes, adopt comprehensive project risk management plan and enforce implementation to ensure quality work done.
“Periodic maintenance of developmental projects must be consistent to prevent unexpected asset failure as this will ensure longer asset lifespan, optimise performance, reduce downtime, ensure cost-effectiveness and lower probability of failure,” she added.
The Minister indicated that a follow-up exercise would be conducted to ensure that all recommendations made were properly adhered to.
“We need your collective support to ensure financial prudence and also raise the standard of living of our citizenry,” Mrs Assan urged.