Berekum youth demand accountability from Assembly
The Berekum Youth for Accountability and Development has petitioned the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO), the Office of the Chief of Staff and the Local Government ministry over what they consider as the poor management of resources allocated to the Berekum Municipal Assembly over the last ten to 15 years.
According to the pressure group, even though the Assembly has been receiving its share of the Common Fund over the years, nothing concrete can be seen in the area in terms of development and improvement of the living conditions of residents.
They are therefore calling on EOCO and the other investigating bodies to conduct a forensic audit of the utilization of the Common Fund in Berekum over the years to give a clearer picture of what has been transpiring in the area in terms of the execution of development projects.
The Founder of the group, Adusei Nana Yaw addressing a News Conference at Berekum noted that the youth of the area were worried about some decisions taken by the Berekum Municipal Assembly.
One of such decisions, he said, was the renovation of the MCE’s official residence at the cost of Gh.c 124,579.50, alleging that the processes leading to the said work were carried out “without recourse to laid down regulations. We deem the figure put on the renovation work as disproportionate to the work that was done.”
“Another area of concern…is the grounding of heavy duty machines (vehicles) of the Assembly. The Assembly’s Ad-hoc Committee on transport indicts the management of the Assembly of serious breaches of relevant laws governing and regulating the operations of the assembly after investigations” about the grounding of the trucks.
Nana Yaw further observed that the pace of development in Berekum seems to be going at a snail’s pace and said “when you go to other towns, you see for yourself various on-going development projects but the same cannot be said about Berekum. We’re not seeing any visible infrastructural projects going on here.
“As for Berekum, we cannot boast of any meaningful development for the past ten to 15 years. Berekum is a big town but when you consider the pace of development in the area, it’s like we are crawling.”
“Are we not part of Ghana? Don’t we also pay tax? We started making our checks and we realized that Berekum has been receiving its fair share of the District Assemblies Common Fund every quarter, every year and we know the amount that comes to the Assembly from government.”
Nana Yaw however commended the current Municipal Chief Executive of Berekum, Kofi Adjei, for his openness and efforts at explaining government policies and programmes to the people of the area; and also updating them on the various development initiatives being undertaken in the municipality.
He however requested that the Assembly should attach the cost of each project to the pictures of the said projects which are usually displayed during Town Hall Meetings.
According to him, it is extremely worrying to have some schools at Kato and Anyinasu still under trees while at Oforikrom, residents and animals drink from the source of water.
Responding to the issues in an interview with the Daily Statesman, the Berekum Municipal Chief Executive, Kofi Adjei denied the allegations made against him and the Assembly and was worried that he had still not been served with a copy of the petition.
Mr. Kofi Adjei said the assembly had been making frantic efforts at addressing the mirage of challenges facing the people of the area.
On the renovation of his official residence, he said the Assembly made budgetary provisions for that exercise in 2016 before he assumed office in May 2017 due to the deplorable state of the place.
He explained that it involved a major renovation works and that was decided by the Assembly long before he became the MCE.
Mr. Kofi Adjei also said the Assembly had undertaken a lot of development projects across the municipality “but as we all know, Rome was not built in a day.”
Daily Statesman checks at the Berekum Municipal Assembly indicate that the about 20 different development projects are currently being undertaken at the various communities in the Municipality.
They include a 6-Classroom block with ancillary facilities at the Yiadom Boakye Cluster of Schools, Teachers’ quarters at Nanasuano, Nurses quarters at Kyereyawkrom and Amankokwa, surfacing of some urban roads, rehabilitation street lights in Berekum, and the evacuation of refuse dump, among others.