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16.06.2004 General News

HIPC-Funded Projects Named After NPP

By Heritage
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Some residents of Berekum in the Brong Ahafo Region are getting worried that a HIPC-funded project, which has just been constructed in the area, has been labelled "NPP HIPC".

The project, financed from the proceeds of the HIPC fund at New Biadan near Berekum, has been named after the ruling New Patriotic Party. The project, a six-class room block for the New Biadan Roman Catholic Primary School, bears the inscription "NPP HIPC".

The name of the Party has been embossed with wall tiles and embedded in the building as part of its decoration, apparently to give the project a permanent feature with the NPP identity.

The mason who designed the inscription on the building told The Heritage that he did not intend to write the name of the ruling party on the wall. He said the name appeared by default when, in the course of writing the alphabets, he ran out of the coloured burnt bricks so he got only 'NPP' out of the 26 alphabets.

A section of the public interviewed during investigations conducted by The Heritage expressed their displeasure about the issue, emphasizing that the HIPC fund is supposed to be for all Ghanaians and not a particular political party.

A cross-country survey conducted by The Heritage revealed similar projects painted in Party colours and with NPP boldly inscribed on the frontage are scattered throughout the country, especially in the remote areas. These include school blocks and KVIP toilets. For instance, a nurses' quarter, which was commissioned on June 3, this year, at Dome Sampaman in the Ga District of the Greater Accra Region, also bears the name of the NPP. The three-bedroom apartment block has "NPP HIPC Benefit" boldly inscribed on the frontage of the building.

When contacted on phone, the Berekum District Chief Executive, Mr. Kwabena Kyere- Yeboah, explained that he only noticed the design on the wall when the assembly was inspecting the HIPC benefits and other projects and he immediately questioned the contractor.

The DCE however, asked the public not to politicize the issue, explaining that the contractor was in no way influenced by the NPP to design the building in the Party's name.

He added that "the Party had no intention of writing its name on the HIPIC benefit" and that "the inscription NPP HIPC could be one of the contractor's architectural designs". Mr. Kyere-Yeboah assured the public that such mistakes would not be repeated. Later in a one-on-one interview with this reporter, the DCE plainly said "there is nothing wrong with it. Every political party wants to gain popularity and this could be a way we can also score our political points ... I would even advise that what has been done here should be replicated on all the HIPC benefits to give the NPP more exposure" he stated amid laughter.

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