The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has charged his sub-chiefs to take interest in ongoing projects in their jurisdictions, to ensure their successful completion.
He stated that as traditional leaders, it was their responsibility to, among others, ‘supervise’ government-funded projects to put the government on its toes to help complete all projects as scheduled.
Otumfuo was addressing the 2023 Annual General Meeting of the Ashanti Regional House of Chiefs (ARHC) in Kumasi last Wednesday.
Annual General Meeting
The meeting was in accordance with Section 11 of the Chieftaincy Act, which stipulates that the Regional Houses of Chiefs would meet two times each year.
The Asantehene also admonished the sub-chiefs who, instead of seeking the general progress and development of their communities and Asanteman, were rather seeking their parochial interest from government.
“ You think I don’t know that some of you here go to the Jubilee House to seek personal gains”, he told the chiefs, and that they should rather use such opportunities to follow up on ongoing projects within their jurisdictions, as it was incumbent on chiefs to monitor closely, all developments in their jurisdictions which are in trust for the people.
“You should at any given time be abreast of what is going on with projects within your area and not always sit aloof and watch government officials come to tell us what they have achieved,” Otumfuo stressed.
The Asantehene’s statement followed an update the Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei-Mensah, made to the house with regard to some projects ongoing in the region.
He mentioned the nearly completed Kumasi International Airport, as well as Phase II of the Redevelopment of the Kejetia/Central Market project, which had all stalled for lack of funds to complete these much-anticipated projects.
The Regional Minister said the government was working closely with its funding agency to release the remaining funds to help complete and hand over the facilities to the people.
Mr Osei-Mensah, again, on behalf of the Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyemang Manu, who should have come to brief the house on the health situation in the region, outlined some successes and challenges of the sector.
On Agenda 111, the minister noted that all the hospital projects were at various stages of completion, except that of Asokore Mampong, which had not taken off as scheduled because of some litigations surrounding the site allocated for the project and appealed to the Asantehene to personally intervene.
That notwithstanding, he said the ongoing 250-bed Kumasi Regional Hospital at Sawua in the Bosomtwe District was completed but had still not been opened to the general public because of lack of access road.
“As we speak, government has contracted Kofi Job Construction Limited to construct the road”, he said, and that it was expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2024.
Still, with regard to roads, he said though there were still some roads that needed to be refurbished, the government had been able to complete majority of the road projects in the region since it took office in 2017.
On the construction of the Suame Interchange, Mr Osei-Mensah said the government was currently through with the payment of compensations to those affected by the reconstruction, and that the facility would soon take shape.
He seized the opportunity to appeal to residents to bear with the contractor since the ongoing road project had heightened the already traffic-prone Suame-Makro stretch.
The Ashanti regional minister also briefed the house on illegal mining activities in the region, and the security situation, describing the latter as calm, as compared to the past years where highway robberies and Fulani herdsmen’ invasion were a threat and a grave source of concern for residents.