A Former Deputy Communications Minister, Felix Ofosu Kwakye believes the people who criticized the construction of the Vice President’s official residence were rushed to do so.
According to him, critics were too hasty to comment on the project without sufficient information.
The Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia initially raised concerns about the project, indicating that the project which cost $13.9 million was awarded without competitive bidding.
“Very importantly, we want to ensure the strict enforcement of the public procurement Act, Act 663, it is an Act that in my opinion and in the opinion of many, has really been abused recently, the resort to sole-sourcing of contracts has been more the rule rather than the exception.”
“The way the act was designed, sole-sourcing was not supposed to be as rampant as we are seeing it today and I think that we will have to enforce this Public Procurement Act,” Dr. Bawumia said in 2017.
Mr. Ofosu-Kwakye on the Point Blank segment of Eyewitness News, however, indicated that these claims may have been unfounded, given that the current government has not been able to hold anyone responsible for the project.
“Perhaps those who spoke on the matter spoke too quickly. They were hasty. They did not gather sufficient information to be able to make a determination as to whether or not there was wrongdoing and as I speak they have not been able to hold anybody to those allegations.”
“The onus lies on this government to ensure that corrective measures are taken. That sanctions are applied to people who may have engaged in that wrongdoing but as I speak to you there is no indication and nobody has been held to account.”
The debate on the Vice President’s residence was rekindled after the Architectural and Engineering Services Limited (AESL) said it is awaiting the government’s directions for the completion of the project.
Speaking at the Public Accounts Committee on Wednesday, acting Managing Director of AESL, Surveyor Robert Abugre said the project is still under construction.
“The contractor was owed money and questions were raised in connection with the project and that led to the suspension of works. As at now, it still remains suspended and no work is going on now. We are waiting for the government to take a decision as to the final use and any other directives.”
Meanwhile, Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee and Minority MP for Ketu North, James Klutse Avedzi, has said the project should not be politicized.
“There are a number of issues that came up but the project has been started. Some costs have been incurred. Should we say that it should be there forever and deteriorate? The fee or the cost of the project should be reviewed by the current government. They should review it, let the project be completed and let it be put to use. Definitely, there will be politics but should we do politics at the expense of the Ghanaian taxpayer.”