Let’s take cue from CJ’s rejection of building

BY: Daily Graphic
Chief Justice, Ms Justice Sophia Akuffo
Chief Justice, Ms Justice Sophia Akuffo

The bold rejection of the refurbished Wassa East District Magistrate Court by the Chief Justice, Ms Justice Sophia Akuffo, last Tuesday because it did not meet the required standard needs commendation.

Standardisation and good quality must be of utmost importance to all in the country, but often professionals in the construction and manufacturing sectors throw overboard the need to ply their trade according to the accepted standards.

It is one reason the perception of cuts (kickbacks) to officials who facilitate the award of contracts has been fuelled over the years.

Those who ignore standards in the execution of jobs cut corners, in their greed to make more money, by using inferior or insufficient materials and pass them off as premium products.

This is why most of our roads do not last their lifespan and are riddled with potholes in no time, while newly constructed buildings become defective within weeks of habitation or use.

Although the magistrate court at Daboase was not a newly constructed building, we believe that the least the Wassa East District Assembly could have done was to seek expert advice on the best way to refurbish the old building for it to meet the required standard of a court.

There have been occasions when public officials who go to inaugurate new buildings have complained about some cracks but have still gone ahead to inaugurate such projects which do not last for the beneficiaries to derive the utmost benefit from them.

The Daily Graphic is of the view that the country will be better off if public officials learn to call a spade a spade and emulate the Chief Justice’s example by rejecting outright projects done with taxpayers’ money but which are executed poorly.

We are not, by this, in any way suggesting that the Wassa East Magistrate Court was poorly executed, but certainly it would not have met standards.

We are of the view that after the rejection of shoddy projects, the contractors should be surcharged with reconstruction to the required standard, so that it serves as a deterrent to other contractors who may want to abuse or squander public money by churning out substandard works.

In the event that public officials fail to condemn and reject poorly done projects, the citizens have the right to rise up and condemn such projects in no uncertain terms to ensure that the right thing is done.

That action will also be a way of protecting the public purse and ensuring that the public enjoys the services and products for which various taxes are paid by the hardworking populace.
While we share in the disappointment of the district chief executive who had expected commendation from the Chief Justice, we are also of the belief that the rejection is the right thing and must be commended.

For instance, the failure to incorporate disability-friendly features into a public building is unpardonable, as that clause was included in the new building code long ago.

On many occasions we have allowed money to go down the drain by not observing and doing the right thing when it comes to the provision of infrastructure and services for the public.

This is the time to right all that wrong.