Ghana: U.S.$4million Children's Library Abandoned - CRI

14 January 2020

A two-storey children's library funded by the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) as part of its 50th anniversary celebration remained abandoned after three years of completion.

The about four million dollar project situated at the Airport Residential area though yet to be furnished is being manned by two security men when the Ghanaian Times visited the place yesterday after a press conference organised by the Child Rights International (CRI) on the state of the library.

It was observed that the building was completed, with the inscription "Ghana Library Authority Children and Mobile Library, funded by SSNIT" at the entrance, fully fitted with generator set and air conditions, as well as parking spacing.

When this reporter asked to access the library, one of the security men told her it was not in use and that she should inquire from the Ghana Library Authority (GLA) and SSNIT the reason the library was yet to be put to use.

Speaking at the conference in Accra yesterday, the Executive Director of CRI, Bright Kweku Appiah said per the agreements of the proposal submitted by GLA to SSNIT, SSNIT was to construct the building, furnish and stock it with books and modern equipment while the GLA provided the site for construction and recruitment of staff upon completion of the project.

He said based on the agreement the TRUSTLIB board was established to oversee the implementation of the project but stated that SSNIT suspended the activities of the board for it to carry out audit on the expenditure made so far on the project.

"The project which was completed three years ago has a mobile library, conference halls, recreational area with astro turf, first aid room, state-of-the-art disability toilet facilities, a computer room, offices and a waiting area," he said.

Mr Appiah alleged that no communication on the report of audit and resumption of work on the project had been sent by SSNIT to Ghana Library Authority and the fate of TRUSTLIB board was unknown.

He was of the view that, the state of the audit should not affect the state of the library as it was meant to promote learning among children in the country adding that "if the building has been completed, it is only prudent that it is stocked and furnished to fulfill the purpose for which it was built."

"With the building virtually abandoned, it is beginning to deteriorate. This is blatant waste of both state and citizens' resources which is highly unacceptable," adding that the liability period agreed between stakeholders and contractor had expired.

Mr Appiah called on the GLA to commit itself to the realisation of its objective while asking SSNIT to ensure that the building is handed over to GLA to promote reading and learning among children in the country.

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