Decongestion Exercise Gone Wrong
The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) is on a mission to rid the city of filth and ostensibly structures which abuse the city's skyline. Unfortunately, however, glaring shortcomings are threatening the sincerity of the billboard segment of the operation.
One of the stories on our front page is about the AMA alongside agents of an interest advertising company engaged in a rather chaotic pulling down and defacing of billboards in the city. It is ironic though that some of these billboards are fully paid for; their owners having produced these for inspection.
The erection of billboards is a serious business from which the AMA rakes in so much money. The transaction has been contracted to an agency to handle which is why we demand decency in managing this critical revenue source.
We do not begrudge the assembly for seeking to keep the city neat and for the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to try to set a record as the first man on the hot seat to alter the filthy status of Accra to the opposite. Others before him tried and failed and such a milestone would go down in the annals of the city as the most remarkable. The tall order can be achieved only with the cooperation with the various publics of the assembly especially clients such as advertisers.
It certainly does not make sense destroying billboards of companies which have not defaulted in anyway, in the settlement of their financial obligations to the Assembly.
It is also morally wrong to have involved in the identification for pulling down a major player in the advertising business in the country. The glee with which the representatives of the company in question are involved in the destruction exercise smacks mischief, in fact, intended to give them an edge over their competitors. The AMA CEO must take action to reverse the trend to save his integrity. This anomaly has triggered questions among industry players about whether or not the Assembly boss understands the implication of the involvement of the advertising company's representatives.
We are hard-pressed not to regard some of the conclusions about the integrity queries raised in town as sound.
The gargantuan breach of agreement on the part of the AMA is disturbing. We are at our wits' end as to what could have prompted the decision to ignore the receipts of payments for the erection of the billboards.
Acting in contravention of standard business practices such as the breaches of agreement and even trust, constitute a major blemish – the fallouts from which are enormous – robbing perpetrators of the respectability they deserve to flourish in their assignments.
A certain AMA chief guard who has survived the various regimes in the country was active in the operation. His presence in the demolition gang also provided an impetus for the moral questions being posed about the integrity of the exercise.
Reviewing the exercise with their thinking caps on would be in the best interest of the so-called cleaning of Accra's skyline.
In any case, the eyesore presented by mounds of garbage and choked gutters is more worrying than billboards fees for which erection are already in the kitty of the AMA.