Simon Tetteh (4th from left), Municipal Chief Executive  for Lower Manya Krobo, explaining a point to Dan Kwaku Botwe (arrowed), Minister of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development
Simon Tetteh (4th from left), Municipal Chief Executive for Lower Manya Krobo, explaining a point to Dan Kwaku Botwe (arrowed), Minister of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development

Minister praises work rate of Secondary Cities Support Programme

A number of facilities are currently under construction in five municipalities in the Eastern Region under the Ghana Secondary Cities Support Programme (GSCSP).

Under the GSCSP, a number of facilities such as market stores, drainage systems, business centres, hostels, shopping malls and roads are to be constructed in the selected municipalities, with funding from the World Bank.

The areas are Lower Manya Krobo, New Juaben South, Abuakwa South, Lower West Akim and Birim Central.

The programme is also to build the capacity of the staff of the selected municipalities.

The Minister of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development (MLGDRD), Dan Kwaku Botwe, last Monday expressed satisfaction with the progress of the ongoing construction works when he inspected projects in three of the beneficiary municipalities.

Projects

In the Lower Manya Krobo Municipality, a two-storey business centre has been completed, while the construction of 106 lockable stores at the Agormanya Market, roads and drainage system is progressing.

At Koforidua in the New Juaben South Municipality, the Jackson Park was being redeveloped to provide an event centre, volleyball and basketball courts, public and VIP stands, stores, restaurants, pubs and TV theatres, and a car park, among others.

The completed two-storey hostel facility of the Abuakwa South Municipality at Kyebi

The completed two-storey hostel facility of the Abuakwa South Municipality at Kyebi

The Nsukwao drainage system is also under construction in the municipality to address issues of flooding in the area.

The Abuakwa South Municipality's share of the projects are a completed two-storey chalet type hostel containing 44 rooms and a shopping mall under construction at Kyebi.

Mr Botwe, who was accompanied on the tour by the Eastern Regional Minister, Seth Kwame Acheampong, said the increasing rate of rural-urban migration compelled the government to look for funds to meet the developmental needs of the people.

He said the GSCSP was set up to expand the rural and peri-urban infrastructure, and at the same time improve services in the municipalities.

Funds available

The minister gave an assurance that there were available funds to complete all the projects for the benefit of the people in the respective municipalities.

Mr Botwe said the government had secured a $245 million Urban Development Grant (UDG 1-5), funded by the World Bank to execute the projects, including markets, stores, drains, and roads in 35 municipalities across the country.

He indicated that since the money was available, construction firms executing the projects would be paid on time.

"The money is there, it is under lock and key.

We are not going to look for loans to pay contractors.

"All the projects we have started, be assured that we will finish them within the scheduled time since the availability of money will not be a hindrance," he emphasised.

Mr Botwe said the projects under the UDG would not stop the municipalities from benefiting from other funds targeted at providing other developmental needs.

He advised the chiefs and people to keep a close eye on the progress of the projects, and further charged the consultants to ensure that the contractors delivered quality work.

The Eastern Regional Minister said the projects reflected the key policies, programmes and framework of decentralisation intended to address the needs of the people through local resource mobilisation and participation.

He appealed to the contractors to make it a priority to employ some of the local people from the communities as part of the labour force.

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