For the first time in the history of Ghana, Ghanaians are evenly divided over this government’s ability to keep its promise by constructing 111 hospitals in 18 months starting August 17, 2021. Those who don’t believe the government are relying on the government’s own track records.
Those who believe the government can build 111 hospitals are relying on hope.
This is why I have the greatest of respect and praise for the representative of Otumfor Asantehene at the symbolic sod cutting in Trede, Nana Akyena Kwagyan, who spoke to all the factions including the President.
Among other things, the Chief told the President that Ghanaians are doubting if he can deliver 111 hospitals in 18 months because there are still hospitals in Kumawu, Fomena and Afari, that are still at the same levels since the last government left them.
He said people are debating on social media if the $100 million is a good money to start the construction of a project costing $1.87 billion. He told the President that he hope he could deliver but if he couldn’t deliver on his promise, he should be reminded that Ghanaians vote based on their hunger and anger. Finally, he conveyed Otumfor’s blessing to the President and wished him well. That was an excellent delivery on behalf of the Otumfor.
Now let me tell you where we are on this Agenda 111 so you will be informed: The government needs 111 15 acres of land. The government said it has secured 87 out of the 111 and about half of the 87 are not readily available due to traditionals and customs. So, there is the problem of land acquisition.
The government will need $1.87 billion but it got $100 million from the Ghana Infrastructure Development Fund. The Information Minister told us the government will not borrow from outside but that the financing of the project will be internally generated. As of today, the government has no idea where the $1.77 billion is coming from. So there is a problem with financing.
The Minister of Health said they couldn’t finish with the hospitals they promised building because of COVID-19. Meanwhile, they are promising to build 111 new hospitals when there is a second or third wave of COVID-19, that we are told, is more deadlier than COVID-19. Can you guess what they will tell us in 2024?
Nana Addo personally gathered the Chiefs and people to cut sod for the La General Hospital, Eastern Regional Hospital, Shama District Hospital and many more. Over one year now, none of those hospitals has seen the foundation. Why do you think Nana Addo symbolically cuts sod in Trede without coming to your district but you think you will get a hospital in 18 months? Please think properly.
Finally, we are told each hospital, whether Regional, District or Psychiatric will cost $16.88 million. You and I know the lands do not have the same texture and designs, so telling me that each hospital will cost $16.88, is just a hoax.
Basically, I have told you almost all the facts about this Agenda 111.
If you are still in doubt, remember how the one village one dam ended; remember how the 2019 year-of-roads ended; remember how Martin Amidu as a Special Prosecutor ended; remember how the fight against galamsey ended; remember how the planting for food and jobs ended; remember how Ghana beyond Aid ended.
Those should tell you that nation building is not about slogans and sod cutting. It’s about hard work. Just as those sloganeering ended, so will Agenda 111 also end.
I have not started writing yet
Dr. Lawrence is the Founder of the Diaspora Progressive Movement in USA.