Mildred Siabi-Mensah/Joseph Wiyorbie, GNA
Sekondi, March 14, GNA - The Sekondi/Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly has become the first subnational government under the Open Governance Partnership (OGP) to be admitted by the Infrastructure Transparency Initiative (CoST) to enhance responsive and transparency in the sector.
Current predictions has it that, 94 trillion dollars was needed in global investment in infrastructure by 2040, while Infrastructure Transparency Initiative estimates that losses due to corruption, mismanagement and inefficiencies may account for between 10 and 30 per cent with a monetary value of about six trillion lost by 2030 if measures were not adopted to improve upon the situation.
Professor George Ofori, the Vice President of CoST, who came from the United Kingdom to launch the project for the STMA, said the CoST approaches focused on encouraging data disclosure on infrastructure projects.
The data, he said, must tell a compelling story and give information on states of infrastructure in the public domain adding, “This can drive reforms that reduce mismanagement, inefficiency, corruption and the risks posed by poor quality infrastructure to the citizenry”.
The CoST, he said, works globally with members from four out of the five continents while STMA makes Ghana the fifth country in the Sub-Saharan Africa to join.
Professor Ofori expressed the hope that eventually, the whole country could buy into the import of the CoST concept to facilitate global exchange of experience and knowledge on transparency and accountability in public infrastructure.
He said, “It is also possible for your association with CoST to help you achieve commitment on the Open Governance Partnership which talks about transparency and accountability in public infrastructure”.
Some achievements of the CoST over the period include helping to cancel a project on the Belize Bridge, Guatemala which saved the potential misappropriation of five million dollars; 3.5 million savings on upgrading a major road in Ethiopia which has been channelled into hospitals, schools and the local economy; and the termination of a contract on the Thyolo-Bangula road which included poor quality work and cost increase of 262 percent.
Mr Isaac Aidoo, Senior Development Planner at the STMA said the Assembly made its application to the CoST at the last quarter of 2018 in line with its plans to implement a commitment in the second Local Action Plan under the Open Governance Partnership which focused on development of an information platform for public infrastructure.