Chairman of the Ghana 60 Years On Committee, Ken Amankwah has told Citi News that the Committee was unable to achieve most of its ambitious programmes last year  due to the lack of funds.
Some of the projects included the building of 60 libraries in deprived areas across all 10 regions in the country.President Akufo-Addo had charged the Committee to generate the funds of its GH¢20 million budget for the programmes and projects from sponsorship by Corporate entities.
Explaining the situation to Citi News, Mr. Amankwah said the committee was however unable to execute these projects because the budgets submitted by various companies who were supposed to undertake them were too “huge”.
“All these proposals were brought by people we call consultants and we asked them to bring budgets so we analyse. The budget, as usual, was humongous. [They were] very huge budgets, and looking at our collection, we did not think we could use it. I think this time around, we were victims of our own success.”
He further explained that the company that submitted the proposal the construction of the libraries left the country before work could start on the project.
“We could not construct the libraries…It was a proposal that was brought by West Blue consortium who were formerly a digital company. The company unfortunately left and its work was taken over by another company but the company that came in was not interested in the proposal,” Mr. Amankwah explained.
Government was widely-criticized for setting the budget for the Independence Day celebrations at GH¢20 million, an amount many considered exorbitant.
Concerns were raised over government’s decision to spend so much on the celebration at a time when the country was struggling with huge levels of debt.
But the Nana Akufo-Addo-led administration clarified that the amount would be used for developmental projects over the period of a year and not necessarily spent on the actual celebration.
The planning committee further indicated that no public funds would be used for the projects, indicating that they would raise the money through sponsorship from corporate institutions.
A number of activities had been lined up for last year’s celebration, including a wreath-laying ceremony, a video documentary on Ghana’s Independence, an inter-schools debate competition, an innovative apps challenge, an international gospel concert, a public lecture and the independence day parade, among other things.
By: Marian Ansah & Caleb Kudah/citifmonline.com/Ghana