A Deputy National Communications Officer for the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Godwin Arko Gunn has revealed that the Agenda 111 initiative by the Akufo-Addo government was coined to deceive Ghanaians.
Gunn who was speaking to Prince Minkah on Dwaboase on TV XYZ Thursday stated the government has not shown any commitment to completing the projects that received a nationwide commendation.
“This government cannot complete the health projects under Agenda 111. They are only interested in sloganeering that will end up deceiving Ghanaians…If the government had put in the effort, most of the hospitals should have advanced than the groundwork we see around,” the deputy NDC spokesman noted.
He continued to argue that, “the government cannot meet its deadline because no funds were allocated to it in the budget.”
His comment comes after the Africa Centre for Health Policy (ACeHP) observed that the government was likely to miss the deadline for the completion of the health facilities under the ‘Agenda 111’ projects.
Executive Director for ACeHP, Ahmed Farhan, in a recent interview with Accra-based Citi FM, revealed that their checks across the country indicate no sign of progress at the project sites despite the government’s promise of high commitment to executing the projects in 18 months.
“I doubt if we will be able to meet the set timelines. It will definitely affect the project lifecycle. The 12-month target that has been set, I presume, will not be to be met,” Farhan said.
President Akufo-Addo cut the sod for the construction of the first Agenda 111 facility, which is the Atwima Kwawoma District Hospital at Trede.
He believes the government is facing financial challenges hence the delay in kick-starting the projects.
Former President John Dramani Mahama also holds the view that the government’s announcement of the projects was a mere afterthought.
According to him, the initiative is a face-saving move seeking to cure the Nana Addo government’s failure to show evidence of infrastructure for the colossal amount of money it has borrowed since it assumed office in 2017.
Speaking to the media in Bolgatanga as part of his ‘Thank You Tour’ last year, the 2020 NDC flagbearer contended that there is no transparency in how the construction of the hospitals will be funded.
He questioned that they were criticised by their successors as over-borrowing but a lot of what they borrowed for was tangible for people to be able to see. Several years later you are a witness to what has happened. From 120 billion cedis of total public debt to almost 400 billion cedis. What most Ghanaians ask is what have we done with this money.
He added that “Looks like most of it has gone into consumption rather than into providing the kind of infrastructure that we need. Is only as an afterthought that suddenly realized that we must be doing some infrastructure. So, Agenda 111 has been conjured.
President Akufo-Addo, who cut the sod in August 2021 for the commencement of the health facilities at Trede in the Atwima Kwanwoma District of the Ashanti Region, begin the projects.
Akufo-Addo said the hospitals under the government’s ambitious Agenda 111 projects will be completed within 18 months.
The president also disclosed that each of the hospitals will cost $16.88 million.
President Akufo-Addo also explained that $12.88 million will be for the construction of the hospitals and $4 million for medical equipment.
“So far sites have been identified for 88 of the 111 hospitals and after cutting the sod, work on the other 87 sites will also commence today.”
“The acquisition of the remaining 13 sites will be completed shortly for work to begin. Each hospital is being constructed at a cost of $16.88 million, i.e. $12.88 million for construction and $4 million for medical equipment and all the hospitals are to be completed in 18 months and works will begin on the regional and other hospitals in the latter part of the year.”