The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor has disclosed that more than 42 million Ghana cedis have been accrued to the Appiatse Support Fund account, as well as other non-monetary contributions including cement and wood.
He said this on the floor of Parliament on Tuesday when he appeared before the House to render accounts on the amount of money the Fund has received since it was set up.
The Minister noted that out of the amount received so far, a million cedis have been given to the Appiatse Reconstruction Implementation Committee to be used to complete the temporary structures for the victims.
“Mr. Speaker as of Monday 6th June 2022, the Committee had received cash donations totaling the cedi equivalent of ₵42,527,380.02. This amount includes the four-installment payment made by Maxam Ghana Limited. Out of this amount, 1 million Ghana cedis have been advanced to the Appiatse Reconstruction Implementation Committee to complete temporary structures to accommodate the victims of the incident,” he said.
However, there was drama in the House when the Minister alleged that MP for Prestea Huni Valley, the constituency the explosion occurred has not contributed to the Appiatse Support Fund.
According to the Minister, although well-meaning Ghanaians have all donated to the fund, the MP for the area, Robert Wisdom Cudjoe has failed to also donate to the fund.
“Significantly, Mr. Speaker, the Member of Parliament for Prestea Huni Valley who is the MP for the community, who enjoys the mandate of his constituents has not contributed to this fund,” he noted.
But the NDC MPs did not take kindly to these comments by the Minister.
The MP for Asawase, Muntaka Mubarak, therefore, asked the Lands Minister to withdraw the comments and apologise to the MP for Prestea Huni Valley.
“Mr. Speaker the Minister was to answer a question and apparently he deviated. Yes, you did deviate to call your colleague and say that he has not contributed anything. That is not the fact because you know that he contributed to the common fund and has visited the place. He also made a lot of donations but because you were not there does not mean the MP has not contributed.
“Mr. Speaker we expect the Minister to do the honourable thing because this is his own colleague that he is trying to denigrate on the floor of the House. It is none of your business to talk about an MP not contributing to the fund when you are completely ignorant about the things he has done,” Mr. Muntaka said on the floor of the House.
Samuel Abu Jinapor subsequently apologised and retracted his comment; stressing that it was not his intention to denigrate the image of the MP.
“Let me put on record that I will not deliberately denigrate any member of this House. Mr. Speaker the part to do with whether or not the MP for Prestea Huni Valley had contributed to the fund should be ignored,” he apologised.
The government in January this year launched the Appiatse Support Fund to help in the rebuilding of the community, as well as the rehabilitation of persons, affected by the explosion that occurred at Appiatse in Bogoso in the Prestea Huni Valley District in the Western Region.
The initiative was to mobilise funds from members of the public and institutions to reconstruct the Appiatse community, which was completely destroyed by the January 20 explosion.