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18.04.2005 General News

WB has not advanced any money for Asanteman

By Kojo Yankah, GNA Special Correspondent,

Johannesburg, April 18, GNA - Mr Johnson Osei-Hwedie, Asantehene's Chief of Staff and Project Manager of the Asanteman World Bank project, has dismissed as 'mischievous' the allegations carried in a letter to the Mr Paul Wolfowitz, President of the Bank and published on Ghanaweb on Tuesday. He said, "what Kojo Poku, if that is the real name of the author should know is that the World Bank has a rigid reporting system which will avail the new President of the progress of the project accordingly. It is wicked for Kojo Poku to peddle such serious fabrications." Speaking to the GNA in Johannesburg, Mr Osei-Hwedie, who accompanied the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu on a 10-day goodwill visit to South Africa said, "no money has been advanced by the Bank for the Water and Sanitation Project". He said five villages from five regions, Greater Accra, Volta, Ashanti, Central and Brong Ahafo, have just completed sensitization programmes for the pilot phase to begin. "It was a condition of the Bank that a pilot phase be undertaken before the 1,000 communities can be assisted, and this is being pursued by the Project Office jointly with the Community Based Rural Development Project of the World Bank", he added. The Project Manager said the five million dollar grant provided earlier covered the Partnership with Traditional Leaders Project, and that over 80 percent of the education, health and capacity building components of the project had been completed. He said the details were available at both the Project Office in Kumasi and the World Bank office in Accra for verification. Mr Osei-Hwedie said at the appropriate time the ongoing video recording of the entire project would be played back on television and the full report published. He advised Kojo Poku to look for 'facts and not mislead Ghanaians and the world'.

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