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“We'll Not Allow The Jubilee House To Rot”
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Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa
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A Deputy Information Minister, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has stressed that the Mills administration will not leave the new presidential palace to “rot”, discounting media reports that government is under pressure to use the edifice.

Mr Ablakwa said government is following a plan of action that must see a gradual movement of the whole seat of government from the Osu Castle to the new site. “It is important to note that at no time has President Mills or the government stated that it will not move to the presidential palace when we have to. What is happening now is that …there is a plan that the presidency is following,” Mr Okudzeto said.

The deputy minister’s comments come in the wake of suggestions in the media that the Mills-led administration is under intense pressure from the Indian government to pack bag and baggage into the new seat of government, the construction of which the party has vehemently criticised.

The Indian government extended a loan of $60 million to Ghana, part of which was earmarked for the construction of the mansion. According to Mr Ablakwa, the Chief of Staff, Henry Martey-Newman, last week toured the facility to access the “state of work so far”. He said work is 98 per cent complete and that relocation by some units of the presidency into the building is in the offing. “As soon as the construction is complete, the various units of the presidency will start moving and then finally, the president himself will transfer the seat of government from the Castle to the Jubilee House,” he said.

Whilst Mr Ablakwa would not state specific timelines, he promised that government will soon put out a statement to announce when the presidency will completely move into its new abode. Asked how government will deal with the controversy surrounding the construction of the building – issues of cost and national priority – Mr Ablakwa settled that those are only a “second issue.”

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) while in opposition and immediately after assuming power questioned the financial prudence in respect of the construction of the house which was first but briefly used by former president John Agyekum Kufuor before he left office. There were indeed no clear signs of the President using the facility but the latest responses from government gives the strongest indication that the Golden Jubilee House will be used.

Source: Myjoyonline.com

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