Palaver: Museums denied share of $20m

Sun, 25 Mar 2007 Source: Ghana Palaver

Despite the huge $50m (including donations) received from the government and other organizations by the Ghana @50 Secretariat, the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board was denied any financial allocation towards the refurbishment of its buildings and facilities.

The Museums, which was chosen by the 50th Anniversary Secretariat as an event venue was disappointed despite persistent and desperate attempts at the last minute preparations.

The “Ghana Palaver” through its investigations can state on authority that but for the timely intervention of the Embassy of Switzerland, the acclaimed success of the celebrations would have been a fiasco.

Sources close to the Museums say formal petition by the Museums to the Ghana @50 Secretariat to grant it, its budgeted allocation fell on deaf ears and was rather asked to seek for funding from the banks.

The sources claimed that at one time one Mr. Asare, a former Director of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) was contacted by the Ghana @50 Secretariat to assist in seeking funding for the museums and monuments Board.

But the source said that after the initial meeting, attempts to get back to him proved futile.

What heightened the anxiety of the board was the fact that it was also celebrating its 50th anniversary on the eve of March 6 2007, as it (Museums and monuments Board) was commissioned by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah in 1957 just shortly before the night of independence declaration.

The sources said that proposals to some embassies to assist in giving the needed support for a facelift eventually attracted the backing of the Swiss Embassy, which came in with an initial support of ¢230,000,000.00 which later went up to ¢373,000,000.00 after inspection of the facilities by the Ambassador himself.

Indeed, the fact of this story and the information provided are amply backed and corroborated by an address by the Acting Director of the Museums and Monuments Board. Mr. J. P. Maise on the occasion of commissioning the refurbished facilities in which he clearly pointed out how the Ghana @50 Secretariat had let them down.

The refurbished facilities include the dome of the Gallery, which was full of leakages, the leakages at the sculpture garden and the landscaping, the Gallery and the Administration blocks, electrical etc.

Arguably, however, the case seems to give an endorsement to the claim by the Public Sector Reform Minister Dr. Paa Kwasi Nduom as to who really was monitoring disbursements of funds by the Ghana @50 Secretariat as he claimed that several facilities including those under construction or rehabilitation were abandoned due to lack of funds.

Dr. Nduom’s comments in parliament and subsequently on radio a week before the Mach 6 drew a sharp “rebuke” from the CEO of the Ghana @50 Secretariat Dr. Yves Wereku Brobbey.

Source: Ghana Palaver
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