Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) of Ashaiman Municipal Assembly (ASHMA) in the Greater Accra region, Mr. Ibrahim Baidoo, has been accused of spending funds of the Assembly on rented plush apartment for himself and a few management members.
Some residents, however, expressed their displeasure over the delay in the completion of a housing project initiated by the Assembly.
According to them, they cannot understand why the Assembly would spend its meagre resources on rent for three of its staff including the Coordinating Director and the Municipal Engineer when it could have used the money to complete its housing project.
The project, which begun in 2009 during the tenure of Numo Adinortey Addison, is aimed at addressing pressing accommodation problems facing the Assembly’s staff.
Speaking to Today on condition of anonymity, the residents claimed the abandoned project at Tema Community 22 has become a safe haven for squatters and wee smokers.
They consequently threatened to stage a massive demonstration against the MCE and the Assembly to force them to complete the project.
According to them, the residential project when completed would accommodate the MCE, Coordinating Director and Municipal Engineer so as to help the Assembly save huge money.
And although the incumbent MCE is said to be negotiating with the central government for the re-construction of the abandoned housing project, the residents told Today that the move by ASHMA was not successful.
They pointed out that their investigations revealed that Mr. Addison started the project somewhere in 2009 with the Internally Generated Funds (IGF) of ASHMA before handing over to Mr. Baidoo.
But the Assembly has not been able to complete the project which was almost 89 per cent complete before Mr. Baidoo assumed office.
Instead, they claimed Mr. Baidoo used the tax payers’ money to rent plush apartment for himself.
The residents also told this paper that Mr. Baidoo rented a fully furnished detached house located between Ashaiman Newtown and Tema Community 22, about 150 metres away from the neglected residential project site, and paid huge amount of dollars as rent.
That move, according to the residents, has compelled them to call for an immediate probe into the MCE’s actions.
“We are angry because we cannot fathom why Mr. Baidoo would abandon a residential project to rot and move to rent a plush mansion in the same vicinity,” a peeved resident said.
They noted that the construction works on the residential project started somewhere in 2009 but strangely the project virtually turned into a refuse dump which is now being used by some residents as a place of convenience.
They recounted that the land was acquired by the ASHMA in 2009 for a construction of the official residence, but the Assembly has since abandoned it as the uncompleted building keeps on depreciating with portions of it being occupied by artisans.
The residents confirmed that the project has been taken over by weeds and reptiles after a church which used to occupy the place was ejected a couple of years ago.
A visit by Today and Amansan Television (ATV) news team to the site revealed that the project was abandoned at window level in 2009.
When contacted by Today, Mr. Baidoo indicated that the Assembly was working assiduously to complete all unfinished projects in the municipality, but denied spending huge money on rent.
When asked why he decided to neglect the Assembly’s project to rent mansions for himself and other staff of the assembly, the MCE blamed the contractors and his predecessors who awarded the contract.
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