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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

GH¢5million on Ghana@50 tea cups had 'artistic value for development'

GH¢5million on Ghana@50 tea cups had 'artistic value for development'
GH¢5million on Ghana@50 tea cups had 'artistic value for development'

The Administrator of the District Assembly Common Fund has mounted a strong defence for the appropriation of some GH¢5,160,000.00 on tea cups for school children during the Ghana@50 celebration.

Joshua Magnus Nicole says the cups have an “artistic value” which could play a key role in the social development of the children in the future.

He was responding to queries from Commissioners sitting at the Ghana@50 probe hearing on Tuesday.

Marieta Brew Appiah Oppong, a member of the commission expressed strong reservations over the expenditure, moreso, when half of the payment was to come from the District Assemblies Common Fund.

She did not see how tea cups will fulfill the reason for which the Common Fund was instituted- to ensure the socio-economic development in Districts and Municipalities across the country.

Even more appalling to her were the allegations that the various districts and municipalities were not consulted before the deductions were made, contrary to the law setting up the fund and complaints by some districts that they received no tea cups even though the deductions were made.

But the administrator insisted all appropriate procedures were followed, adding he was instructed by the then Chief of Staff, Kwadwo Mpiani to have the monies deducted from the Common Fund.

“My Lord the development this will bring will be in the social aspect of it, in that the artistic value of the cups when they are kept in future you might even have to sell at a price or auction them.

“In future for me I saw these cups could play a part in the social development of a person. Even the school child getting that cup, the feeling that he gets that he is part of the Ghana@50 celebration and is going to keep the cup for his or her children and children to come and have a look at the cup is part of the social feeling,” he said, in an answer to how the cups were to improve the socio-economic development of the districts.

He denied being part of the procurement procedures but insisted the few cups he saw were of high quality, contrary to claims by some officers from the District Assemblies that the cups were disposable ones.

Mr Magnus Nicole refuted claims that the District Assemblies were not consulted before the deductions were made, adding, the districts yet to receive their cups will have them delivered, or their monies refunded.

Story by Nathan Gadugah/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana

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