No matter the explanations and denials by the [email protected] secretariat, dailyEXPRESS has learnt that government in order to avoid any embarrassments and in the words of a senior government official “move the speed at which projects are been handled from a civil service pace” took a decisive action to bring in one General Coleman to help in coordinating and getting things done faster.
This is because the golden jubilee anniversary implementation agency, the [email protected] secretariat has proven almost incapable of effectively and efficiently handling the various events, infrastructural projects & other activities lined up for the celebration.
The presence of General Coleman, according to some staff of the Secretariat has ensured a more professional management, supervision and on-time deliveries than before.
dailyEXPRESS gathered during its enquiries that the Chief Executive of the Secretariat Dr. Charles Wereko Brobbey was angered by the introduction of the military officer, but has since piped down after beginning “to appreciate that it was not an attempt to take his job, but the need to avoid any embarrassment to the country.”
A government official in confirming Dr. Wereko Brobbey's initial anger admitted that the national planning committee (which is a sub-committee of cabinet) should have been set up earlier, with experienced event managers brought on board. He however insisted that the secretariat as composed should have done better than they have done.
General Coleman, government is convinced will ensure that projects that must be concluded before international guests especially start arriving, are completed. Work at the Independence Square & Arch which should have started earlier & most ideally completed by now is still ongoing.
Meanwhile, the appropriate authorities are now struggling to beautify the Tetteh Quarshie Interchange which was completed several months ago, while a last minute attempt to pave some parts of the capital is ongoing.
As part of our ongoing monitoring and follow up on the celebrations, the dailyEXPRESS found out that government and the national planning committee are like many Ghanaians not happy about the slow pace of implementation of projects and the failure of a number of activities so far held.
Apart from the Inaugural Golden Jubilee Lecture delivered by Mr. Kofi Annan, which was a huge success, none of the other activities have been successful.
After a flawed start in commencing the celebrations, an advertised Rally Round the Flag flopped just as badly as the Greening Ghana Initiative. The subsequent choral festivals & national prayer program all failed to draw the expected crowd.
Almost disappointingly, one hardly sees people wearing commemorative [email protected] shirts or other paraphernalia, while the few won at official functions are low on quality. The depth of the problem as exemplified by a marketing consultant Kwame Poku is reflected in the fact that not even the street vendors have done their own version of the [email protected] shirts for illegal sale.
“This celebration has been badly handled from the start. Go to Osu or Kantamanto and see if any of the guys who sell the replica jerseys etc, have any [email protected] item? It's because nobody is asking for them and also because they themselves don't know what is going on” Poku argues.
With everything already late, and just six weeks to go for the main birthday (March 6), General Coleman, Dr. Wereko Brobbey, staff of the secretariat, the national planning committee and the government will be praying that all is ready just in time.
Meanwhile, many of the contractors have been given a February 15 deadline to complete their projects.