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Construction of Upper East Regional Passport Office on hold until further notice

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Work on the Upper East Regional Passport Office is expected to restart. It is however unclear when this would happen. But it will be after the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration has completed the re-designing of a more comprehensive architectural plan for contractors to follow.

This came to light when the Project Manager for the Upper East Regional Passport Office building, Kennedy Enyan spoke on A1 Radio’s Day Break Upper East Show, Wednesday, July 27, 2022.

It would be recalled that on July 21, 2022, this website carried a story that indicated that the initial 3-month deadline for the Regional Passport office had elapsed and workers had abandoned the site. The project was thus a month beyond its initial deadline and still had not been completed.

When Mr. Enyan spoke on A1 Radio, he explained that the initial delays were due to demands for compensation for the land by family heads [owners of the land].

“According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs [that is the Deputy Minister], they wanted to have the office before the Hajj. That was what made the whole thing happen quickly so that the Hajj [pilgrims] would take their travel documents from this place. But it is quite unfortunate that did not happen.”

“There is no land lying free. When I came to Bolgatanga, I was told that the lands here are not owned by the chiefs, they are for the family heads. What I heard is that the family heads and the Ministry had meetings concerning the plot. We are contractors, we were not that interested in getting the details of the various meetings. All we knew was that things were ready and that we had to come and begin work,” he said.

Mr. Enyam explained that with the spate of the work on the project, the said families were worried that, should they allow the work to be completed, they [the family] would lose out on the agreements that were reached among the family heads, the Regional Minister, Stephen Yakubu and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration.

“Agreements had been made and we all had to go by that agreements. When they [the family] found out that the contract had been awarded and the project was going on very speedily, the people said the way the project was running, if they did not take care, and the project was finished, whatever agreement we [the family] made may become trash. I understand that they met the Regional Minister but they were also waiting to hear from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and due to one reason or the other, there were some delays so the family thought that they were being taken for granted.”

“So what they will do to get the Ministry to fulfil their agreement was to touch the project,” he recounted.

Subsequently, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs reached out to the family heads and quashed the issues between them by settling the compensation owed to the family.

The project, according to Mr. Enyam, is still unable to continue despite the compensation to the land owners. This is because the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration has taken the opportunity to redefine the scope of the project. Until that is done, work would continue to stall.

“We are not on practical work now. Initially, I had said that the Deputy Minster said that they wanted the project to be ready before the Hajj so the drawing the technical men gave to us, was not the full drawing to complete the whole thing.”

“The contractor run faster than they [the Ministry] was expecting. With that in mind, [the Ministry is saying they] cannot also rush to do it. [So they asked us] to wait for some time so that they [the Ministry] also take their time to do a perfect project,” he explained.

Mr. Enyan was however unable to say when the Ministry would finish the redefined drawing for work on the Upper East Regional Passport Office to resume.

Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana

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