$4 million Children & Mobile Library now white elephant

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The advanced Children and Mobile Library, which was constructed about six years ago under the collaboration of Ghana Library Authority and Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) has been left at the mercy of mice, rodents and cobwebs.

The 4-million dollar facility, on the right stretch of Patrice Lumumba Street- about 100 meters away from Gold House, Kawukudi Junction, was earmarked to promote and harness the potential of children. However, it has become a “white elephant” for the last three years.

Interestingly, the existence of the facility stems from an agreement reached between SSNIT and Ghana Library Authority when the latter proposed that the former fund the construction of a new Purposed Children’s Library in Accra.

It is to serve as a backup for the Children’s libraries in Teshie and Kaneshie which are deteriorating and begging for refurbishment.

Indeed, per the agreement, SSNIT is responsible for constructing the building, furnishing and stocking of the library with books and modern equipment. On the other hand, Ghana Library Authority is to provide the site for the construction and recruit staff upon completion of the project.

A SSNIT and Ghana Library Authority Board called TRUSTLIB is to oversee the implementation of the project.

The library was completed three years ago, having mobile library, conference hall, recreational area with astro turf and first aid room. It is disability friendly with all air conditioners fitted. It has a computer room, offices, a large parking space, waiting area and power plant.

SSNIT, however, suspended the activities of the TRUSTLIB Board for it to carry out an audit on the expenditure made so far on the project. The understanding is that SSNIT will resume its commitment towards the library after the audit.

From all indications, it looks as if the audit report has been concealed. Absolutely nothing from the two parties have been heard on the Children and Mobile Library.

Speaking  to the issue at a press conference in Accra, Executive Director of Child Rights International, Bright Kwaku Appiah  said the situation is an affront to Article 28 (1c) which states that in all cases the interest of the children is paramount.

They believe that the initiative is a laudable one and are calling on SSNIT to show commitment in making the project to be operational in the interest of children as provided in the Children’s Act, 1998 Act 560.

Similarly, he admonished the Ghana Library Authority to recognize the project as theirs and commit itself towards the realization of its mandate and objectives.

And that with the abandonment of the facility, it is beginning to deteriorate making the venture a waste of state resources, he mentioned.

Our visit to the facility confirmed exactly the issue at hand as no activities are ongoing but the presence of security guards.

Ghana | Atinkaonline.com | Patrick Ofoe Nudzi