With John Dramani Mahama’s declaration as President-elect of Election 2012 by the Electoral Commission Chairman, Kwadwo Afari-Djan, the road seems clear for his being sworn-in on January 7, 2013, as the Fourth President of the Fourth Republic, save for a possible judicial Tsunami.
On that auspicious day, the President-elect would cease to be a derided caretaker President, and come into his own as a regularly-elected President of the Republic of Ghana, the fourth consecutive JOHN to occupy that enviable seat since 1992.
The Chronicle seizes this opportunity to congratulate you on this great achievement, and wish you a most successful tenure, to the benefit of the greatest majority of Ghanaians.
As you get ready to come into your own in January 2013, The Chronicle would want you to remember that as is usual with us mortals, your good deeds, as head of the John-Mahama administration, would most likely be interred with your bones, while the bad ones would constantly be shouted from the rooftops.
The Chronicle will, therefore, like you to investigate a legacy of your boss’ administration, which you may have unknowingly condoned in the last four or so months that you have husbanded that administration.
We have heard that whereas the Kufuor administration built a classroom block with all the necessary appurtenances for about GHÂÂ¢80,000, the Atta-Mills administration built the same block of classrooms for about GHÂÂ¢300,000. That is an escalation of almost 250 percent.
The Chronicle finds this not only anomalous, but atrocious under a single-digit inflation regime. We concede that you are likely unaware of this unholy situation. It is for this reason that The Chronicle would greatly appreciate your kind intervention to find out if the above-quoted figures are true and institute a more appropriate costing for the construction of classroom blocks.
This determination of the cost of classroom blocks has become urgent, in view of your campaign promise to build 200 new senior high schools and 10 colleges of education, construction work of which is likely to begin before the end of your first year in office.
If it is true that a classroom block of about 10 rooms costs GHÂÂ¢300,000, how much would a community senior high school, comprising administrative block, classroom block, male and female dormitory blocks, assembly hall, dining hall, library, kitchen, home science block and laboratories cost?
If the alleged over-inflation of the cost of erecting a basic school classroom block is carried over into the construction of 200 community SHS and 10 colleges of education, it would bankrupt the exchequer in no time.
The Chronicle suggests that your Excellency orders cost estimates from both the UNDP and GREDA for comparison, to enable the nation arrive at a competitive pricing for the construction of the 200 new SHS and 10 colleges of education.
Across board, we have challenges with the availability of funds for government operations and commitments – teachers’ salaries are allegedly being paid piecemeal, commuters continue to experience traffic jams daily on the Legon-Madina road because the government is unable to pay the contractor on schedule, etc., – so it is important that we save every kobo we can in the national purse by avoiding wasteful expenditure.
This is a cause that The Chronicle would pursue relentlessly. And that is a promise!