Journalists within the Ashanti Region have reiterated calls for government to complete the abandoned Ashanti regional press centre project.
Work on the Ashanti regional press centre project was started by the erstwhile John Mahama administration.
Construction work was progressing steadily under the then Ashanti Regional Minister, Eric Opoku, but after he was reassigned in 2014, the project has since been abandoned.
The current government has also failed to fulfil its promise of completing it over the years.
A visit to the project site shows that weeds have grown around the place as the area has been abandoned.
The building has also developed deep cracks, as some parts have started falling apart.
In an interview with some media practitioners in Kumasi, they stressed the need for government to complete the project to aid the activities of journalists in the region.
“The current government has not made any attempt to complete the project. I remember when President Akufo-Addo met the media at the regional coordinating council, I told him that Mr. President, we hear you are the friend of the media, so we want you to complete the project. He laughed and said wow, this is the first time I’m hearing a journalist calling me a friend of the media. We will make sure we complete the project. The project is still there, and the building is collapsing. I think it is more than 4 or 5 years since we had that encounter with the president,” Isaac Justice Bediako, a journalist with EIB Network, stated.
“With the press centre project, to say I am highly disappointed is to be mild in my opinion. I am inclined to think that, abandoning it has got to do with more political explanation than anybody will give. Because it was started by one government, and it has been succeeded by another, if the succeeding government completes it, its functionaries may think that the credit will go to the one that started it. That is the most disappointing aspect of it,” Nicholas Osei-Owusu, editor-in-chief at GBC in the Ashanti Region, noted.
Reacting to this, the Ashanti regional chairman of the Ghana Journalists Association, Kingsley Hope noted that several engagements with the Ashanti regional coordinating council to ensure that work resumes on the project, have proven futile.
“I contacted the regional coordinating council because this is a state property. Per the discussion I had with Mr. Eric Opoku (the then Ashanti regional minister whose time the project started), it went into the tender process. The documents are there. What I am trying to do, is to get hold of the entire document. Once it is a state-owned property, GJA cannot make a move by going to seek for funds to complete it. I have had a chat with the regional minister about the fact that we should even organize fundraising. He gave his consent, but things were not up to what we were expecting”.
Speaking on his expectations from the next Ghana Journalist Association leadership, Kingsley Hope says he is hopeful that the new national executives will push for the project to be completed.
“All is not lost because I am sure that this coming administration of the Ghana Journalists Association (I am making direct reference to the national executives) is keen on this. It has this project at heart”.Read Full Story