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15.06.2005 General News

SIF refuses pupils to use facility


Kumasi, June 15, GNA - The Social Investment Fund (SIF) has refused to hand over a block of six classrooms and toilet facilities built at the cost of 333 million cedis for the people at Mpobi in the Kwabre district of Ashanti due to the community's failure to pay the counterpart funding for the project.

Mr Forster Kwame Boateng, Zonal Officer for Ashanti, Brong-Ahafo and the Northern Regions, said the project was to be funded by the SIF, the Kwabre District Assembly and the community in the proportions of 75, 15 and 10 percent respectively.

He said while the assembly paid its part, the community provided only five trips of sand and four trips of gravel which added up to 1.8 million cedis out of the 33.3 million cedis of their contribution towards the project.

Mr Boateng said efforts to get the community to contribute towards the project was treated with contempt and that to date, it had not fulfilled its obligation.

He said the contractor who executed the project, financed all what the community was supposed to provide even though the community was made to sign an undertaking to pay their counterpart funding. It is not the policy or intention of SIF not to hand over completed projects to beneficiary community, Mr Boateng explained, but pointed out that the SIF expects communities to pay their contribution towards projects they initiate.

Mr Boateng said the refusal of communities to participate in SIF projects negates the purpose of the project and that most of the beneficiary communities in the district had almost finished paying their counterpart funding for various projects provided by SIF. Meanwhile, the Mpobi Community has appealed to the district assembly and the district directorate of education to prevail on SIF to hand over the project to them.