The African Centre for Energy Policy is raising an alarm over a community kindergarten school in the Brong Ahafo Region, paid for with proceeds from Ghana’s oil but does not exist.
The 245,082 cedis project is said to have been completed in June 2014 at Dabaabi, a little farming community in the Brong Ahafo Region but checks by ACEP indicate that no such project was ever executed.
Policy Advisor for ACEP Dr Ishmael Ackah said instead of a brand new kindergarten building funded with the oil money, residents in the community are struggling to put up a kindergarten school to house their future generation.
The residents pay Ȼ8:00 every month to have the building completed, Dr Ackah stated with ACEP providing additional funding to roof the building.
According to the Policy Advisor, in 2014 an amount of Ȼ110,546.00 of Ghana’s oil money was allocated to build a kindergarten school in Dabaabi to replace a mid-shift building that served as a classroom block for the kids.
The cost of the project was 245,082 cedis but Ȼ110,546.00 of the oil money was said to have been paid to a company to execute the project. The project is captured in page 30 of Petroleum Reconciliation Report 2014, as finished project, paid for and of immense benefit to the people in the community.
However, under a partnership program between DFID, and ACEP to investigate projects funded with Ghana’s oil money, it has emerged the kindergarten school said to have been built is only a mirage.
Dr Ackah said several letters written to the Finance Ministry to show evidence of the building they paid for have come with no response.
However, officers at the Ministry, on condition of anonymity, confirmed to ACEP that monies have been paid for the construction of the project.
More than two years after the Ministry claimed to have completed the project, nothing is on the site, except the structure the community members are contributing to put up by themselves.
The former Municipal Chief Executive of Dormaa, Godwin Asubonteng later confirmed on the SMS no such project has been built in the area.
He said that under normal circumstances the Municipality is contacted to award such contracts but nothing like that happened.
He was even under the illusion that projects to be funded with oil money are only executed in Accra or in the Western Region.
ACEP is preparing a detailed report on the matter.
Dr Ackah said this is not the first time Ghana’s oil money has been misappropriated. In 2015 several thousands of dollars was supposed to have been invested in the construction of 14 km asphalt road at Tafo in the Eastern Region.
The road was expected to facilitate the transport of farmers and their produce from Tafo to adjoining communities and markets.
However Dr Ackah said only 1.3 kilometers of the road was constructed at the same cost it would require to complete the 14 kilometers stretch.
The explannation by the contractor was that at the middle point of the road project was hilly and required concrete instead of asphalt. So a decision was taken to invest all the money into the concrete to build the 1.3 kilometer stretch.
“He said that there is a hilly part, about 1.3 kilometers. So he used concrete instead of Asphalt to build the hilly part. So 1.3 kilometers concrete the money got finished. From Wiabeng to the concrete, the road is bad. From Tafo to the concrete, the road is bad. We just have some tourist attraction sitting in the middle and that is all,” Ackah stated.