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$13.9 million Veep's residence abandoned?

Work on the official residence of the Vice-President appears to have stalled following the debate over the cost of the project between the Akufo-Addo administration and officials of the previous regime.

Joy News checks over the weekend revealed that there was no activity at the site as the project site has been cordoned off with green corrugated roofing sheets.

A young man who lives close to the property said the last time he saw the contractor around was in 2016.

The security man inside the uncompleted project declined to step out to talk to the media but rather responded to Joy News’ Maxwell Agbagba via the CCTV cameras.

He said contractors were just doing some minor works on the building adding construction has dragged for some time now.

Dr Mahamudu Bawumia stirred controversy in January this year when he expressed shock after finding out that the official residence under construction for the country’s Vice Presidents, would cost the country a whopping $13.9 million.

He questioned whether the doors of the apartment were gold-plated to merit such profligacy.

Speaking at an event on good corporate governance, he disclosed that upon enquiries as to why the construction of the Vice President’s official residence was delaying, he was told that the state owed the contractor who worked on the project, an amount he later found was close to $14 million.

Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia
He made the comment while sharing his thoughts on sole-sourcing and its associated challenges, questioning why such a huge amount would be spent on a home for a Vice President.

“I asked a question as to why this project is being delayed and they said the contractor is owed a lot of money and I asked how much is this money, and I am told it is actually a lot of money.

“Can you believe in Ghana we are building a house to house our Vice President, and this house is supposed to cost $13.9 million? “I mean what sort of a house is this supposed to be? Is the gate made of gold? The pavement of gold? The blocks of gold? A house in Ghana for $13.9 million? I could not believe it.

“How many boreholes could we have done…? Of course, I am 100 percent sure it did not go through competitive tender, otherwise, we would have known about it.

“It was most likely sole-sourced, and there it stands uncompleted at the moment. This is just an example of many contracts that we do not have value for money for.”

Dr. Bawumia criticized the pervasiveness of single-sourced procurement in public projects, stressing that the previous administration had made single-source procurement the rule rather than the exception.

However, speaking to the issue, the General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketia was at the forefront of exonerating the government of John Mahama of any wrongdoing.

“The documents that I have seen shows that the original contract sum was $3.56 million,” he told Joy News.

He said a department of the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing did all the technical works of the building and brought up how much it would cost to build it and this was subsequently approved by Parliament.

Story by Ghana | Myjoyonline.com