Claim: Ho Market, Youth Center and Dual Carriage road were constructed with a loan government contracted.
Verdict: False. Data from world bank Sister City Support show that the Ho Market project is a grant. Information from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning confirms that the youth resource centre and dual carriage road are a government of Ghana-funded project.
The Ho Central Constituency of the New Patriotic Party, on January 29, 2023, organised a new year get-together for party members. The Volta Regional Minister, 1st Regional Vice Chairperson, Municipal Chief Executive and constituency executives graced the ceremony.
Delivering his speech, the Municipal Chief Executive, Devine Borson, said he will continue to bring development into the municipality and ensure that the constituency is united in enhancing the party’s chances of “breaking the eight.”
Mr Borson, in responding to public outcry that his government has increased the country’s debt to GDP by borrowing without many projects to show, said, as captured by Myjoyonline.com, that,
“When they say the Akufo-Addo-led government took too many loans, point to the Ho Market Project, Volta Regional Youth Resource Centre, the Sokode-Ho dual carriage road and the others.”
His reference to these projects indicates that they are the benefits of loans contracted by the government and that the funding sources for these projects are loans.
DUBAWA enquired from the Municipal Chief whether the quote attributed to him in the news publication was accurate, and he responded in the affirmative.
The New Patriotic Party in 2012 chastised the then National Democratic Congress led by John Dramani Mahama for excessive borrowing with nothing (projects) to show.
A tweet by the then Presidential Candidate of the NPP, Nana Akufo-Addo, complained about the government’s appetite towards borrowing and questioned what the money was being used for. The tweet received 246 likes, 217 retweets and 151 quotes.
Similarly, in a Facebook post, the candidate promised that his approach would be different and he would not tax and borrow to spend. He pledged that all revenues raised would be channelled into development projects for the benefit of the citizens instead of being used for consumption.
In President Akufo-Addo’s state of the nation address in 2017, he bemoaned the country’s debt stock and explained how difficult it would be to borrow further because there was no fiscal space to do that. He said Ghana’s total debt stock had risen from GH¢9.5 billion in 2009 to GH¢122 billion by the end of 2016, representing 74 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
He explained that the previous NDC-led Government accumulated more debts in the last eight years than all other governments put together since independence, explaining that 92 per cent of the country’s total debt stock was incurred during that period.
Mr Akufo-Addo defeated John Mahama in the 2016 elections and became the President of Ghana. John Mahama, now former President, has been asking the same question and demanding to see the developments for which the borrowed monies have been used.
He said, “When I was in government, we borrowed GHS54 billion, and Ghanaians could visibly see what we used the money for in the area of roads, water, electricity, airport, harbour, and schools.
“The then-opposition New Patriotic Party accused the NDC government of borrowing too much. They promised to develop Ghana without taking loans, but after staying in office for almost four years, do you know how much they have borrowed? The NPP government has borrowed 140 billion. It is sad that we do not know what they used the money for. When you ask them, they do not have anything to show. So what are they using the money for?”
It is in the light of these that the MCE for Ho directed patrons at the get-together to the three main projects in the region, which he attributed to loans contracted by the government.
DUBAWA sought to verify the claims made by the MCE.
Ho market reconstruction is under a World Bank Progam called The World Bank Secondary Cities Program Project for Ghana.
According to the World Bank, the program is to improve urban management and basic urban services in participating municipal assemblies (MAs). The program will constitute a slice of the government’s broader decentralisation support program (the responsiveness factor grant (RFG) and its associated district performance assessment tool (DPAT)), specifically focusing on MAs that manage urban development in secondary cities.
It added that Access to the program’s Urban Development Grants (UDGs) would be conditional upon MAs complying with RFG and DPAT minimum conditions and obtaining a performance measure score equal to or above the national average.
According to the world bank, there are three windows. The Ho Municipal Assembly is benefiting from the Local window.
A Citinewsroom publication said that the youth and sports minister, Isaac Kwame Asiamah, cut sod to construct a youth centre in the Volta Region.
The multipurpose Youth Centre is in Adaklu Nuwene near Ho in the Volta Region.
Mr Asiamah, at the sod-cutting ceremony, said the project forms part of the government’s efforts to provide Ghanaian youth with opportunities to develop their talents.
Wilkado Construction Works are executing the project. It will comprise a FIFA-standard football pitch, an eight-lane athletic track, a tennis court, a basketball court, a handball court, a gymnasium, a counselling centre, a youth ICT centre, an entrepreneurship centre and a restaurant.
Information from the National Youth Authority shows that the funding for the Youth Resource Center is government. According to the NYA, their construction will unearth and develop talents while providing the Ghanaian youth with a one-stop-shop to access both sporting and non-sporting (training & recreational) facilities. It added that the Authority, with the support of its Ministry, is constructing ten Youth Resource Centers of Excellence with a 5,000 seating capacity at various completion levels in ten Ghana regions.
The Medium Term Expenditure Framework Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) for 2021-2024 by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning for the Ministry of Youth and Sports mentioned that:
“The Ministry continued the construction of ten Youth and Sports Resource Centres (YRCs) of Excellence in the former ten regions. These YRCs act as one-stop youth centres providing training, counselling, recreation and sporting activities.”
Graphic-online published in 2016 that two major roads in the Ho Municipality are to be upgraded to dual carriageways as part of the Department of Urban Roads (DUR) moves to add to the beautification process in the Volta Regional capital.
The first dual carriageway will be constructed over 10.5 kilometres at GH¢98 million. It will start from Sokode-Gbogame, an entry point of Ho, to the Civic Centre. At the same time, the other road, worth GH¢28 million, will also begin from Sokode-Etoe through the University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS) to Titrinu, a distance of 10.5 kilometres.
Data from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning Show that the project is funded by the Government of Ghana as contained in the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) for 2022-2025 for the Ministry of Roads and Highways.s
The claims made by the Municipal Chief executive that the Ho Market, Ho Resource Center and Ho dual Carriage road are evidence of works done with loans given to the NPP government are false.