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27.11.2004 Regional News

Oguaa Assembly Losing Millions

By A. K. Afful, Cape Coast
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WHEN the Municipal Co-ordinating Director of the Cape Coast Municipal Assembly failed to write to the Lands Valuation Board, in respect of a piece of land it purchased from the chief and elders of Nkanfoa near here, for their final waste disposal site, little did he know that his in-action will cost the Assembly ¢200 million every quarter of the year.

From the grape-vine, a bird whispered into the ears of this Correspondent that at its sitting earlier in the year, an Assistant Director of the Assembly, Mr Melede Forson hinted the Assembly about a court action the land owners had taken against the assembly.

The bird indicated that the court, a High Court here, ruled against the Assembly and placed on garnish on all assembly accounts, till the assembly paid ¢1.2 billion to the land owners.

Following that, a compromise was reached after the assembly had made a down payment of ¢50 million to the land owners upon which the assembly was further instructed by the court to pay ¢200 million per quarter till the ¢1.2 billion compensation was cleared.

It said though the assembly had appealed against the ruling, it was still pending at the time the assembly met on April 27, 2004.

In another development, the assembly does not understand why a contractor who did the glazing works on the Assembly's new Assembly Hall Complex was being paid directly by the Administrator of the District Assembly Common Fund in Accra instead of passing through the Assembly.

Now the question being asked by the members is "Who authorized such payment which is at variance with laid down regulations."

They also wondered why that contractor was being paid directly from the fund whereas the main contractor who constructed the complex had not been paid anything.

In yet another development, the members wondered what had become of the ¢200 million that the Assembly approved of, for the start of the construction of an office for the Municipal Fire Officer since some time now and demanded to know where the money was.

This became necessary when it was realized that even though nothing had been started on the project, the 2004 supplementary budget indicated that the project would be completed in 2005.

Meanwhile, the service does not have even a shed under which to park their fire lender and ironically, the assembly does not have a single fire extinguisher in its premise.

According to the members, every assembly in the region was made to contribute ¢8.5 million to the Regional Co-ordinating Council towards the turning of the School of Languages at Ajumako into a Regional Youth Centre.

However, they related, the school had already been taken over by the University of Education, Winneba, as one of its campuses.

So if that is the case, what is the RCC telling the assemblies?, the Assembly members asked.

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