Navrongo youth petition Akufo-Addo & Bawumia over stalled stadium project

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Youth in Navrongo in the Kasana-Nankana Municipality of the Upper East Region Wednesday, June 22 hit the principal streets of the township in protest of a stalled football stadium project in the area.

This was after weeks of social media campaign under the hashtag #CompleteNavrongoStadiumNow.

The Wednesday demonstration was to draw the attention of the powers that be to as a matter of urgency complete the project which was started in 2018.

In a petition to the president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, through the Municipal Chief Executive, Joseph Adongo, the youth expressed worry over the situation.

“Your excellencies, the current state of the facility is retarding our progress in sports which has even seen little or no attention in the region thus far. We do have talents in Navrongo and the Upper East at large but the no-stadium-situation or worthy football pitch is derailing our efforts. Currently, there is no stadia in the region qualified for the Ghana Division One league football… We cannot continue to suffer like this as a people when there is this great opportunity before us. The stadium cannot and should not be counted as one of such projects labelled white elephants”, the petition reads in part.

They recounted the promises made to them when the project was commissioned and how they looked forward to its completion.

“At the sod cutting in July 2018 ceremony, we were categorically told the project will be completed in nine (9) months. In fact, the contractor promised to finish it in 8 months and hand it over to us as a valentine gift. To wit, this project in normalcy should have been completed in 2019 even if it would have had some delays. We have seen some appreciable progress in the stadium. We hear phase one to three (out of the four phases) of the project are almost complete. But for so long now, the place has been under lock and key with no work going on and for several years. We are disappointed and continue to get disappointed”, they said.

The youth say, failure of the government to heed their demands will send a bad signal.

“If we do not see a contractor on site, then that would be a neglect on the youth, an insult enough to our cry, a disrespect to the people of Kassena Nankana and the whole region.”

Contractor not paid

Meanwhile, a journalist based in the town, Senyalah Castro, who has been following the issues surrounding the stalled project reported the project has come to a standstill because the contractor has not been paid despite having almost completed three of the four-phased project.

He added an attempt to award the remaining part of the project to a new contract without paying the original contractor led to a standoff. His June 18 Facebook post reads:

“I have done some digging and have been able to unearth a few possible reasons why work on the Navrongo Sports Stadium/Youth Resource Centre has stalled.

The following are some of the reasons.

1) The project is in four phases. Phases one to three are almost complete.

2) The Contractor is broke and is unable to continue with work. He wants reimbursement from the government.

3) The National Youth Authority is not happy the contractor is unable to continue the work even though it hasn’t paid the contractor.

4) New leadership at the National Youth Authority is not impressed, goes ahead to award phase four to a new contractor.

5) New contractor handling the fourth phase wants to move to site to begin work. Old contractor, who started the project and is almost done with phases one, two and three says no. The old contractor wants to be paid to complete his work and move out.

6) The old contractor argues that his money would be locked up if he allows the new contractor to move in. So, he locks up the facility to keep new contractor out!

7) There are also issues of ‘chop chop’ which aren’t helping the progress of the project. They are allegations for now.”

Background

On May 14, 2018, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Isaac Asiamah, in the company of former Upper East Regional Minister, Rockson Bukari together with other government officials cut the sod for the construction of the multipurpose Youth Resource Center in Navrongo which included the sports stadium. The town had become the ninth to have benefited from the government’s sports infrastructure initiative. It was expected to be completed in nine months.

By 3news.com|Ghana

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