Child Rights International expresses worry over suspension of work on Children’s Library Complex

A Non-Governmental Organisation Child Rights International (CRI) has expressed worries over the suspension of work on the children’s library complex, which was started by the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) in partnership with the Ghana Library Authority some six years ago.

According to the organisation, the progress of work on the facility for the past three years was halted due to the change in government, leading to the suspension of the TRUSTLIB Board that was responsible for the implementation of the project as well as the initiation of an audit on the expenditure made so far.

Addressing the media at a press briefing on Monday, the Executive Ditector of he Child Rights International Mr Bright Kweku Appiah pointed out that, SSNIT has made it known that, it would resume its commitment towards the children’s library project, but “currently, no communication on the report of the audit and resumption of work on the project has been sent by SSNIT to the Ghana Library Authority, and the fate of the TRUSTLIB Board is now unknown”.

Indicating that their concern is the state of the audit which should not affect the state of the library that is meant to promote learning of children in the country.

Adding, “If the building has been completed, it is only prudent that it is stocked and furnished to fulfil the purpose for which it was built.”

Therefote CRI believes that the initiative from the onset is a laudable one, which is a fulfilment of the country’s constitutional aspirations for the welfare of children under Article 28 and 37.

“Consequently, we expect a firm commitment from SSNIT towards the completion of the project as a way of responding to the best interest of children as provided for in the Children’s Act 560,” he acknowledged.

Meanwhile, a tour of the project site according to Mr. Appiah shows that it is fully fitted with air conditioners and disability friendly facilities including (state-of-the-art disability-friendly toilets), a mobile library, conference halls, a recreational area with astro turf, a first aid and computer rooms, offices, a large parking space and waiting area, as well as a power plant.

However, the building virtually abandoned is beginning to deteriorate and this is a blatant waste of both state and citizen resources adding that due to the delay the liability period which was agreed upon between the stakeholders and the contractor during the execution of the project has expired.

“This means additional funds would have to be spent for repairs and replacement of fittings before the facility could be commissioned,” he opined.

On that note, Mr Appiah believes that it would be a sad day in the history of the country if this laudable project is abandoned, and urged the Ghana Library Authority (GLA) to recognise the project as theirs and commit itself towards the realisation of its objectives.

In a brief background Mr Appiah explained that the four million dollar project, was initiated by Mr Ernest Thompson, the former Director-General of SSNIT, as part of the organisation’s 50th anniversary’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) effort in October 2015.

It was, however, an agreement between SSNIT which was expected to ensure the construction of the building, furnishing, and stocking of the library with books and modern equipment, while the GLA provided the site for construction and recruitment of staff upon completion of the facility. 

Source: www.thenewindependentonline.com/ Ishmael Barfi / senghana@gmail.com

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