General News of Saturday, 4 March 2017
Contrary to views that the national capital, Accra has been without a plan, veteran politician, Enock Tei Mensah has traced back to a document revealing that the capital city has had a development plan since 1958.
“Accra was a council and they put in place the first interim Management Committee. Wing Commander Osabokle of Airforce, C.S. Botwe who was in charge of the Accra Community Center and myself were selected to constitute the Interim Management Committee. They agreed to make me chair of the committee
“On a visit to the now AMA, the building was shaky and in a complete mess; we counted 738 huge mounds of refuse and the available 129 public toilets at the time were overflowing. I suggested we consulted for ideas. That was when we chanced upon the plan for Accra. The whole claim that Accra does not have a plan is a fallacy. There is a plan, I was given the plan.”
The longest serving Minister for Sports under Rawlings regime and a one-time Mayor of Accra revealed this when he recounted some aspects of his life in a hearty interaction with host of Sunrise Morning Show, Winston Amoah recently.
He noted that the Forward of the Plan for Accra signed by Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah read: “Ghana became independent on the 6th of March, 1957 and from that day our efforts to improve the standard of living for all who live and work in Ghana has been intensified. Great strides have been made and there is everywhere a spirit of dedication and endeavor. It is fitting that we should improve our main towns along our rural and industrial development and that our capital city should offer improved amenities and standards of living. I therefore have great pleasure in taking this opportunity to offer a word of encouragement to all who in the future will have in their hands the task of molding the shape of our cities, towns and villages throughout Ghana”.
It was an interesting revelation as he named many of the current programmes and projects that were captured in that plan some sixty years ago.
“During the June 4th when the Makola Market was demolished, we didn’t know that in the Nkrumah’s plan, Makola was supposed to be demolished and a Civics center along the lines of what has been constructed at the Rawlings’ park was to be built.
“At the time, where you currently have the 31st December Market was the Omnibus Services main Yard and the PWD offices; that whole area was to be cleared. As you may know, the PWD area started building a Hall of Technology where you have the Highways.
“I’m telling you the Lavender Hill, Sodom and Gomorrah and all those projects are captured in this plan,” he emphasized.
An obviously surprised host, Winston Amoah asked, “Do I get the impression every project was captured in the plan sixty years ago?” to which the veteran politician answered in the affirmative