Child Rights International (CRI) has made a passionate appeal to the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) to complete the new children’s library.
The project started six years ago, it said, needs to be completed and handed over to actualize the constitutional requirements for the welfare of children in the country.
It appealed for a firm commitment from SSNIT towards the project and responding to the best interest of children as provided for in the Children’s Act, Act 560.
Executive Director of CRI, Bright Kweku Appiah, expressed displeasure at the suspension of the project and indicated there has been no communication on a supposed audit report that caused the suspension of the program.
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As part of activities marking the 50thanniversary of SSNIT, an agreement was struck with the Ghana Library Authority to construct the US$4 million children’s library to enhance reading among Ghanaian children.
The move was also part of the Ghana Library Authority’s way of dealing with the deteriorating conditions of Children’s’ Libraries across the country especially in Accra where libraries in Teshie and Kaneshie are no longer attracting the youth due to their poor state.
Though the project was subsequently completed some years ago, SSNIT suspended activities to carry out an audit on expenditure made following the change in government.
It also led to the suspension of the TRUSTLIB Board, which was responsible for the implementation of the project.
He said, “If the building has been completed, it is only prudent that it is stocked and furnished to fulfill the purpose for which it was built”.
“With the building virtually abandoned, it is beginning to deteriorate. This is a blatant waste of both state and citizen resources which is highly unacceptable,” he stated.
Mr. Bright Appiah expressed concern that the liability period agreed upon between the stakeholders and the contractor during the execution of the project has expired and lamented additional funds would have to be spent for repairs and replacement of fittings before the facility can be commissioned.
He charged the Ghana Library Authority to recognize the project as theirs and commit itself towards the realization of its objective by all the things that matter in the process.
The complex so far has been fully fitted with air conditions and disability-friendly facilities.
It has a mobile library, conference halls, a recreational area with astroturf, a first aid room, state-of-the-art disability-friendly toilet facilities, a computer room, offices, a large parking space and waiting area and a power plant.
Though the library building has been completed, other commitments have not been done since the suspension of the project.