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21.03.2006 General News

Akufo Addo Commissions Secondhand Air Conditioners!

By Palaver

... NPP's Kennedy Agyapong lands multi-billion cedi contract A very strange and bizarre ceremony took place at the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC) last week Wednesday. Nana Akufo-Addo, Minister of Foreign Affairs, commissioned the repaired air conditioners at the AICC, which had not been functioning for some time!

We have heard of commissioning new buildings or old buildings after major rehabilitation work on them, but for the broken down air conditioners in a building to be repaired and commissioned by a whole Minister of State must mark a first in the Guinness Book of Records!

The ceremony itself, which took place at the AICC, started about 30 minutes late at around 300 pm with a Welcome Address by Mrs. Ellen Nee-Whang, Acting Chief Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Minister, Nana Akufo-Addo, then made a Statement, which lasted for about 10 minutes and in which he did not mention the PNDC or Jerry Rawlings once as the Government which constructed the AICC. Instead, he referred to the AICC having been constructed 15 years ago and referred twice to the Yugoslav company that did the actual construction.

Dr. Kodzo Alabi, Director of the AICC gave the vote of thanks after which Nana Akufo- Addo cut the tape to commission the repaired air conditioners, referred to as “Chillers.”

“Item 13” followed at the foyer of the AICC.

The AICC was constructed 15 years ago, in 1991, by the then PNDC Government. It was used as the venue for the Ministerial Meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement. A Yugoslav (yes, there was a country called Yugoslavia then) Company was contracted which did the job in record time.

At the time of construction, it was ridiculed by the then unofficial opposition as a prestige project, and it was nicknamed “Pink Lady” by the then BBC's Ms. Elizabeth Ohene, now Minister responsible for Tertiary Education, on account of its colour (pink) and the two breast-like towers rising the east and west of the edifice.

It is useful to recollect that true to its style, neither the PNDC nor the NDC ever formally commissioned the “Pink Lady”. Those Governments were looking for a functional Conference Centre. They built one, and put it to work. Full stop. No frills, no propaganda.

So you have a situation in which the Conference Centre itself has never been commissioned but the repaired air conditioners in the Conference Centre have been commissioned!

Another interesting thing about last Wednesday's ceremony is the company that installed the new A/C Chillers, as they were referred to in the official programme. That company is called Super Care Ltd, who are agents for Delfi Ltd. Super care is owned by one Oppong Bio, but the majority shareholder and financial backer is one Kennedy Agyepong.

And who is Kennedy Agyepong? You guessed it — the NPP MP for Assin North! Observers at the function could not fail to take note of the fact that Nana Akufo-Addo is an NPP Presidential candidate hopeful but that as Foreign Minister, he has very little opportunity to market himself to the domestic Ghanaian population who, after all, constitute the electorate.