By Patrick Biddah
The bad maintenance culture of the Ghanaian, has crossed the shores of the country, with reports emerging from the missions which paint a poor and deplorable states of buildings, including embassies and official residences of ambassadors.
Ghana‘s missions in China, Korea and Belgium, have various degrees of damage and need urgent attention. But the most despicable is the Ghanaian Embassy in New York, where rats, have taken over the building and crisscross the facility during official business hours, as if to welcome visitors to the embassy.
The Member of Parliament (MP) for Wa Central in the Upper West region, Rashid Pelpuo, made this shocking revelation, saying the facility is in a bad shape and needs urgent attention.
Contributing to a report by the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament, which was submitted to the House last Thursday, the Wa Central Legislator, said his visit to the Ghanaian Embassy in New York sometime back, did not only revealed rat infestations, but also leaking roof and ceiling.
The report was presented after the Foreign Affairs Committee undertook an oversight responsibility visits to some missions abroad, following a $50 million loan which was secured in 2016 to improve the state of Ghana’s missions.
According to Mr Pelpuo, both the carpet at the Embassy and the residence of the Ambassador, had holes in them.
Describing it as very embarrassing, he blamed previous and successive governments for abandoning the Embassies and not doing well to maintain and renovate these foreign mission facilities regularly.
More disturbing, according to the Wa Central MP, is the outrageous monthly rent for the Embassy building.
Quoting $15,000 as the monthly rent for the building housing some of the Embassies, he suggested that a more prudent and innovative approach can be used at acquiring a property for the Embassy, rather than the astronomical rent paid every month.
He veered into the mission in Nigeria, claiming some of the properties owned by the State in that country is being sold.
Mr Pelpuo, who once served as the Minister for Public Private Partnership, expressed the idea of bringing onboard private partners who will renovate the facilities and rent them out to rake in some money for the State.
His contribution was not too different from the details in the report which was presented by the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Frank Annoh-Domoreh.
The Mission building in New York according to the report, will be pulled down to make way for re-construction at a sum of $48million which will have 22 floors.
According to the report, the residence of Ghana’s Ambassador in China, has cracked walls which is bad for habitation.
The poor nature of the mission buildings in South Korea and Belgium, were also found to be in poor conditions as the property in Seoul which was acquired in 1998 has not seen any facelift.
For the residence of the Ambassador, the plumbing and electrical fittings, were all out of date and the entire compound was overgrown with weeds.