The Minister of Communications, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, and her entourage could not believe their eyes during a recent visit to the Community Information and Communications Technology Centre (CIC) built for the Kwamang community in the Sekyere Central District when it was discovered that the centre did not have a single computer.
The facility, which has one of the most secured features in the region with burglar-proofed doors, was supposed to have benefitted from 20 computers from the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC).
However, when the minister and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GIFEC, Mr Abraham Kofi Asante, visited the centre, not a single computer was found there. The router provided for Internet connectivity was also missing.
Although the centre had nicely arranged chairs and tables, two of the rooms in the three-room facility had holes in the ceiling.
Parts of the centre’s walls were damp and covered with mould from leakages.
According to the caretakers of the facility, thieves allegedly cut through the ceiling to enter the facility and swept the place clean of all the computers.
However, the minister believed the story was too good to be true. Given the security features of the facility, she wondered how thieves could break into the centre through the ceiling and take away every single item from the place through the ceiling.
Besides, she said there was no indication on the roofing that there had been a break-in.
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful expressed her disappointment that the community allowed the facility to run down without caring about it.
She said on paper, the centre was supplied with 20 computers from GIFEC three years ago, but “clearly, there is nothing here to show for it”.
According to her, the government would continue to do its best to provide communities with the needed infrastructure and amenities to make life easier for the citizens.
However, she added, it behoved the communities and assemblies to own the facilities and ensure that they were up and running.
“It is a shame the way we treat government property. A lot of money and investment went into equipping this facility so that our children can also benefit from it,” she stated.
She asked the people to change their mindset about government property and see them as their own since it was the taxpayers’ money that was used to put up the facility.
According to her, not until people changed their attitude, it would not matter who was in power.
She said the previous government distributed a total of 270,000 computers throughout its eight years in government, but most of those computers could not be traced.