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General News of Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Source: thechronicle.com.gh

Accra Digital Center was an 'adakato' - Ursula Owusu-Ekuful

The Minister for Communications, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has stated that the Accra Digital Center was empty when the New Patriotic Party (NPP) took office in January 2017.

According to her, it would be misleading to hear that the facility was up and running before the Akufo-Addo government came into office. It was ‘adakato’ (empty box) she said in Akan. Ursula was reacting to a statement made on the floor of Parliament yesterday by the Member for Ningo-Prampram, Samuel George.

The latter had claimed, in his submission, that the erstwhile Mahama administration reformed the Center to an admirable status, one that gave this government the opportunity to train people there.

Vociferously, Sam George made a case for what he said was the legacy of John Mahama, ending with a call for his boss to be given another term.

The duo, Ursula and Sam George, were debating on the 2020 Budget and Financial Policy of the government.

After he had been notified by the 2nd Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei Owusu, who was in the chair, that he had just three minutes to end his submission, Sam George delved into the Accra Digital Center after touching on simbox fraud, kelniGvG, and others.

He said: “Mr Speaker, what is even more interesting is the legacy of John Mahama that is evident even three years after he left office. “Mr Speaker, even in the 2020 Budget, one of the highlights of the Communications Ministry is the Accra Digital Center.

The Accra Digital Center that the current CEO of the center says was an abandoned warehouse; and John Dramani Mahama could take an abandoned warehouse and pitch it to the World Bank and Rockefeller Foundation and get them to transform it to a plug and play state of the art ICT center for BPO (Business Process Outsourcing).

“Today, you are telling us how many young people you have trained, thanks to John Dramani Mahama…,” he concluded.

She, however, in a sharp rebuttal, albeit having her time earlier before Sam George, which she used to state why the budget should be approved, the MP for Ablekuma West, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, debunked the claims by Sam George on the Centre.

“Mr. Speaker, the Accra Digital Center we inherited in January 2017 was in Akan parlance 'adakato', an empty structure.

“So, he (Sam George) is misleading the House by saying it was a plug and play center. That is what they claimed on paper, there was no internet connectivity, no electricity, nothing was there,” she added.

The House is debating the 2020 Budget statement presented by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, last week.

Whereas the Minority is kicking against the approval of the budget, the Majority, on the other hand, is pushing for same to be approved.

The heated debate just started yesterday and continues today.

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