SOCO Project: Engineer gives assurance of value for money projects

By Godfred A. Polkuu

Fumbisi (U/E), Nov. 20, GNA – Alhaji Danladi Salifu, the Upper East Regional Zonal Engineer for the Gulf of Guinea, Northern Regions Social Cohesion (SOCO) Project, says the Office will not compromise on the quality of projects.

The projects are to be executed across the 15 Municipalities and Districts in the Region.

“We are going to ensure that the right thing is done within the shortest possible time. That is why the office was given brand new pick-up vehicles for monitoring. We will always be at the sites. So, I can say for sure that there will be value for money,” he assured.

Alhaji Salifu gave the assurance in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at Fumbisi in the Builsa South District, after he witnessed the handing over of five project sites to contractors by Mr Daniel Kwame Gariba, Chief Executive of the area.

The projects included construction of a 1.8 metre culvert at Bachonsa Nyambisa, a three-unit classroom block each at Amaachaab and Gbedema, renovation of the Kanjaga Market stores and fencing of animals’ market at Fumbisi, all estimated to cost GH₵4.8 million.

The SOCO project is a multi-country US$450 million credit facility from the World Bank implemented in Ghana, Cote d’ Ivoire, Togo, and Benin.

It was launched in Bolgatanga in November 2022, by the Vice President, Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, and would be implemented by the Ministry of Local Government, Decentralization and Rural Development, under the leadership of the Sector Minister, Mr Daniel Kwaku Botwe.

Out of the total credit facility, the Government of Ghana was allocated US$150 million for projects in 48 Districts and Municipalities in the Upper East, Savannah, North East, Upper West, Oti and Northern Regions.

Alhaji Salifu said about 25 percent of the money was transferred to the 15 Municipalities and Districts for the projects

“We do not think money will be an issue. “It is about starting the projects and completing them at the right time to the benefit of the communities. The sector minister is so much interested in getting the projects executed within the shortest possible time,” the Zonal Engineer said.

Contrary to views by some members of the public that the projects would stall midway, just like other government projects over the years, Alhaji Salifu noted that “The SOCO project is different, monies have been transferred to the Assemblies. It is a special project dear to the Sector Minister.”

The Engineer said to ensure effective monitoring and supervision, the various Municipal and District Assemblies were directly involved in the project.

He explained: “We have a life docket that whatever is happening within the project; it is being monitored We have daily update of our activities. And because we have taken coordinates of all the sub-projects, you can be in Accra and see work done on any project.”

Alhaji Salifu said there were lots of community engagements and sensitizations for community members to be part of the project, and added, “That is why we are recruiting unskilled labour to be part of the project.

“Going round the communities to hand over the sites to Contractors for the projects, we are highly impressed so far with the show of commitments from the communities, Contractors, and the Assemblies.

“For the Zonal Office, we are more than ready to monitor all the projects from start to finish within the six months’ time,” the Engineer added.