Don’t be deceived by Akufo-Addo’s ‘exaggerated’, ‘lofty’ agenda 111 project – NDC

A former Deputy Minister of Information Felix Kwakye Ofosu has asked Ghanaians not to be hoodwinked by President Akufo-Addo’s Agenda 111 project to build 88 hospitals across the country, a project which the President will be commissioning on Tuesday.

Felix asked Ghanaians to ponder if they can believe a President who he said failed to build a single district hspital in the five years he has been President when he tells them he will build 111 hospitals in the little over three years that he has left at the helm.

“Don’t forget that he failed to deliver the 88 he promised last year,” he said.

“Folks,before NPP chaps come disturbing your ears with exaggerated and lofty talk about the so called Agenda 111,note the following points:

“President Akufo-Addo promised to deliver 88 District Hospitals in 12 months starting July,2020.The 12 months have passed and not a single one of them has been delivered.

“Now on Tuesday,we are told the President will “cut sod” for the first set of hospitals as if cutting sod itself was anything significant bearing in mind that he cut sod for supposed major hospital projects including the proposed Eastern Regional Hospital and La General Hospital which have not seen a single block laid one year after the funfare.

“Even for the supposed commencement on Tuesday,we are told only $100 million is available from GIIF,which is a John Mahama creation by the way.

“That amount,if it were to be used to build a 100 bed District Hospitals properly so called,can build just about four such world-class facilities.

“Before Bawumia and his NPP come shouting “inflation”,note that President Akufo-Addo cut sod last year for the 100 bed Shama District Hospital and stated that it will cost € 35 million which is roughly $41 million. We are told however that these ones will cost $17 million apiece and so you can expect something far lower than the world-class District Hospitals built by governments in the recent past.

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“If they pull off these 5 out of the 111,you can look forward to at most,enhanced polyclinics that will be passed off as District Hospitals.

“Also,ponder carefully if you can believe a man who failed to build a single District Hospital  in the five years he has been President when he tells you he will build 111 hospitals in the little over three years that he has left at the helm.Don’t forget that he failed to deliver the 88 he promised last year.

“And for the records,John Mahama has 14 District Hospitals and 22 Polyclincs to his name. I might also add that for the mundane task of building Hospitals too they have created another needless bureaucracy-a whole Agenda 111 Secretariat under the Office of President when the Ministry of Health has been doing this since time immemorial and delivered far bigger projects than this one.”

Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah had said at a press conference in Accra on Sunday August 15 that an amount of $100million has been budgeted for the commencement of the project.

He announced that the government has secure 88 sites as part of the move to construct 111 news hospitals, adding that the titles to the parcel of lands have also been secure.

Mr Oppong Nkrumah who is also Member of Parliament for Ofoase Ayirebi said “Preference was given to local contractors and labour.”

He added “The agenda 111 project which aims at providing 111 district hospitals will commence on Tuesday 17 August 2021. The project will also see to the provision of two specialized hospitals, one for the middle belt, one for the northern belt. These are psychiatric hospitals and then the redevelopment of the Accra Psychiatric hospital. There will also be the development of the six new regional hospitals and one extra regional hospital for the Western region.

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“The district hospital project as you recall was first announced in April 2020 by President Akufo-Addo during his 8th Covid update to the nation. It is programmed to take between twelve months to complete each one from the point of commencement Since this announcement the project implementation committee chaired by Chief of Staff  Madam Akosua Frema Osei Opare has been delivering a number of objectives

“One, to secure the physical location of 111 sites. Currently, they have secure 88 of those 111 sites. Not just the physical location but also securing title to the parcels of land. 88 out of 111 so far each of these parcels is about 15 acres.

“They have also been procuring the services of consultants. The master project itself has its consultant then for every one of the 111 sites, like it is done in every construction project you need the consultant and the contractors working on it, they have also been delivering on this. They have also been working to secure funding for it and commencement funding of $100million dollars has been made available to the project through the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund. For the project themselves, it is budget US$17million for each of the district hospitals , the district and specialized hospitals are being funded by the government of Ghana.”

President Nana Akufo-Addo in his eighth Covid-19 address to the nation  last year announced the construction of hospitals in some 88 districts across the country.

“There are 88) districts in our country without district hospitals; we have six (6) new regions without regional hospitals; we do not have five infectious disease control centres dotted across the country; and we do not have enough testing and isolation centres for diseases like COVD-19. We must do something urgently about this. That is why Government has decided to undertake a major investment in our healthcare infrastructure, the largest in our history. We will, this year, begin constructing 88 hospitals in the districts without hospitals,” he said.

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President Akufo-Addo also reiterated the government’s plans of building regional hospitals in the six new regions to boost healthcare delivery in the country.

“Each of them will be a quality, standard-design, one hundred bed hospital, with accommodation for doctors, nurses and other health workers, and the intention is to complete them within a year. We have also put in place plans for the construction of six new regional hospitals in the six new regions, and the rehabilitation of the Effia Nkwanta Hospital, in Sekondi, which is the regional hospital of the Western Region.”

Additionally, President Akufo-Addo gave an indication that work will soon commence on three infectious disease control centers for each of the zones of the country to improve Ghana’s testing capacities with regards to contagious illnesses.

“We are going to beef up our existing laboratories and establish new ones across every region for testing. We will establish three infectious disease control centers for each of the zones of our country, i.e. Coastal, Middle Belt and Northern, with the overall objective of setting up a Ghana Centre for Disease Control. The recent, tragic CSM outbreak, with over 40 deaths, has reaffirmed the need for ready access to such infectious disease control centres, even though, in our time, nobody should die of the disease.”

By Laud Nartey||Ghana