The denial by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) about the $13.9 million cost of the Vice Presidents’ official residence has suffered a major setback as documentary evidence from the Architectural and Engineering Services Limited (AESL) – the state agency responsible for costing such projects – supports the figures as put out by Vice president Mahamudu Bawumia.
The knockout document, dated January 2016, is titled Consultancy services for the administration and supervision of construction works of the official residence for the vice presidents of the Republic of Ghana.
It shows that the NDC, under John Mahama in its spirited denial, lied when it put the cost of the project at $5.9 million, the contractor Consor Limited – having received over $8 million as part-payment of the total cost.
The project has stalled because of the non-settlement of the outstanding balance – a fact which debunks the NDC’s argument seeking to paint a varying picture of the cost of the project.
The NDC charge was lied by former presidential staffer, Clement Apaak, who put out the $5.9 million figure to believe that claimed by the vice president.
The tabulated evidence which Nana Akomea, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Director of Communications, flaunted like a prized game during last Saturday’s segment of the much-followed Joy FM’s ‘Newsfile’ programme, which put the total cost of the project at $14 million, has put paid to the debate over the real cost of the residence as an integrity-injured NDC seeks cover in a media warfare that has backfired.
An obviously excited Nana Akomea could not resist saying based on the evidence the NDC could not be trusted.
The NDC has so far failed to support its claims that the project was valued at $5.9 million.
“The expenditure would have been much lower had the project been awarded through competitive bidding,” the vice president said – a suggestion which put the NDC on the defensive.
Characteristic of their denial, the NDC descended upon Dr. Bawumia, claiming that he was engaging in petty politricking – their favorite in the post-election political environment. They had earlier told him to exit the political campaign season and be real.
According to the AESL document, the total cost the project is $13,968,252.66 covering the cost of stone fencing works, hard wood panel doors, eternal electrification works, sculpture and emblems.
A total amount of $8,179,138.95 the document shows, had already been expended on the project with an outstanding amount of $5,789,113.71 left to be paid for completion, the document indicates as it depicts pictures of some parts of the building still under construction.
The authenticity of the document has been queried by the MP for Bolga Central, Isaac Adongo, opening another front in the raging controversy as he especially said it lacked some critical elements such documents should contain.
He was however, unable to provide opposing evidence but was quick to add that such inability did not take away his right to question the integrity of the document.
Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia is not new to controversy; the now opposition NDC attacks figures whenever he posts these in his public discourse and the like.
While addressing Muslims in Saborn Zonngo last Saturday, he told his audience that he dose not put out figures and details that are not grounded in evidence and integrity.
The vice president had expressed shock over the $13.9 million being spent on the construction of an accommodation for vice presidents, which is currently stalled.
Dr. Bawumia said such a huge amount could have been used to construct many boreholes.
He questioned the decision by the NDC government to invest $14 million on the project.
“I asked; how much is this house actually costing and I was shocked when I was told. Can you believe in Ghana we are building a house to house our vice presidents, 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 blocks of gold? A house in Ghana for $13.9 million? I could not believe it,’ he charged.