MPs Angry At Special Initiatives Minister

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The Herald has picked up intelligence that Members of Parliament (MPs) are angry at the President Akufo-Addo’s three Development Authorities – Northern, Middle Belt and Coastal – over their activities in their various constituencies.

While, some of the MPs, complained that they are not seeing the work of the Development Authorities, others at various meetings lamented over their noninvolvement in their activities of the authorities in their various constituencies, because they were not consulted on projects before they commenced, hence unable to make inputs.

This paper is informed by some of the MPs that sooner than later, the Minister of the Special Initiatives; Mavis Hawa Koomson, who is also MP for Awutu Senya East in the Central Region, could soon run into some public confrontation with her colleagues over her ministry’s activities in their constituencies through the development authorities.

The MPs, who are on both minority and majority sides of parliament, disclosed that the Minister of the Special Initiatives, was creating problems for them, and could soon be hauled before the House to respond to some tough questions over handling and management of funds entrusted her.

Some of the MPs, who for now pleaded not to be mentioned, told The Herald they have noticed some bizarre things in the budget from the Ministry. Mentioned was made of inflated contracts and wasteful expenditures some of which need explanation.

Already, Mavis Hawa Koomson, has GH¢800, 000 website design scandal which broke last year, hanging round her neck and the least she will expect from her colleague MPs is to have her finally answering some tough question on this and other things. The website in question according to experts, would have been done at a paltry GH¢1000.

The Herald learnt, although projects such as toilets, boreholes and dams are ongoing in certain constituencies across the country, the projects are being done at places they are not urgently needed. This is so because they were not consulted by the authorities ahead of their commencement, to show the contractors where they will better serve the people.

Additional information available to this paper is that, the Development Authorities, were being very partisan in the project allocation and execution by focusing mostly on areas where MPs belonging to the New Patriotic Party (NPP), while areas or constituencies considered stronghold of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) are almost neglected.

In June last year, President Akufo-Addo, inaugurated the governing boards of three Development Authorities – Northern, Middle Belt and Coastal, urging them to work with passion to promote equitable development.

He tasked them accept going the extra mile to ensure coherent and even development between the urban and rural Ghana.

He added that, they needed to put the betterment of the people at the heart of the thinking of everything they did – to commit themselves to public service for the benefit of the nation’s progress.

The Authorities were to implement the Infrastructure for Poverty Eradicate Programme (IPEP), and oversee the disbursement of the equivalent of one million dollars to each of the 275 constituencies, every year, for infrastructural development to stimulate economic growth

Dr. Hakeem Ahmed Wemah is the Board Chairman of the Northern Development Authority (NDA).

The other members include; the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr Abdul-Majeed Haroun, a representative each from the National Development Planning Commission, Northern, Upper West and Upper East Regional Houses of Chiefs, Ministries of Finance and Special Development Initiatives, Civil society, private sector and three nominees of the President.

Mr Alex Kwaku Korankye chairs the Board of Middle Belt Development Authority. The other members are Mr Joe Danquah, its CEO, Dr. Isaac Frimpong Mensah-Bonsu, representatives of the Ashanti, Eastern and Brong-Ahafo Regional Houses of Chiefs, the Finance and Special Development Initiatives, civil society, private sector and three nominees of the President.

The Coastal Development Authority has Mr Edmund Annan as its Board Chairman with Mr Samuel Attah-Mensah, the CEO, one representative each from the Western, Central, Greater Accra and Volta Regional Houses of Chiefs, and the Ministries of Finance and Special Development Initiatives, civil society, the private sector and three government nominees as the other members.

President Akufo-Addo noted that the manner in which development had proceeded so far had not addressed the concerns of the people and therefore the need for paradigm shift – focusing priority on the peculiar development needs of each geographical enclave.

He assured the Boards of strong government support and asked that they worked closely with the sector ministry.

Mr. Annan, on the behalf of the development authorities, thanked the President for the honour done them and the opportunity to serve the nation

He said they as governing bodies were not going to disappoint and would work with zeal to ensure uniform development of the country.

“We commit ourselves totally to the course to which we have been appointed. We would carry out successfully the mandate given us to make the vision of ‘Ghana beyond Aid’ a success,’ he added.

President Akufo-Addo also inaugurated the Board of the Zongo Development Fund, charging it to help speed up the development of Zongo communities across the nation, to make things better for the residents.

Alhaji Mohammed Saini Dari is the Chairman of the Fund’s Board. The other members are the CEO, Alhaji Mohammed Baba Alhassan, two presidential nominees, a representative each drawn from the Finance and Inner City and Zongo Development Ministries , National House of Chiefs, National Chief Imam, National Council of Zongo Chiefs, National Council of Muslim Chiefs and the Christian Council of Ghana.

More to come!

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