The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has accused Baba Jamal, a Deputy Information Minister, of lying about the cost of a 6-unit classroom block constructed by the government.
According to the NPP, the claim by Baba Jamal that the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) had added more facilities to the construction of school projects, which led to the 150 percent increase in contract price, could not be true because the NPP constructed classroom blocks with similar facilities at a far reduced cost.
Baba Jamal had reacted to a call on the (Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) by Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie aka Sir John, NPP General Secretary to investigate “the ridiculous and outrageous over-pricing of contracts under the government of Prof J.E.A. Mills. The situation has gotten out of hand and should be investigated before the country gets bankrupted by the naked corruption of the National Democratic Congress (NDC)”.
Sir John’s call was made after the GNA reported on Friday, April 22, that the new Eastern Regional Minister, Dr. Kwasi Akyem Apea-Kubi, was shocked by the shoddy jobs being executed by contractors despite the high cost.
The Regional Minister had said a six-classroom block constructed at the Krobo Girls Presbyterian Senior High School cost GH¢200,000 (¢2 billion). This project was funded by the GETFund.
At Krobo Girls, the minister inspected a very basic two-storey dormitory block with an assembly hall, also funded by GETFUND, at the cost of GH¢800,000 (¢8 billion)
However, a news release issued in Accra yesterday and signed by Perry Curtis Perry K. Okudzeto, NPP Deputy Director of Communications, in reaction to what the NPP calls “Baba Jamal’s lies” on radio, said there was a “shameless” attempt by the government to downplay with “barefaced lies” the import of the NPP’s call on the EOCO to investigate the unprecedented culture of corruption in the award and cost of contracts since the NDC took office in 2009.
The release said in his struggle to explain himself on radio, Baba Jamal (who was the Deputy Eastern Regional Minister at the time that highly-inflated contracts were given for the construction of school facilities), claimed that the NDC had added more facilities to the construction of school projects, which led to the over 150 percent increase in contract price.
“Unfortunately for him, the Deputy Minister, when asked to list those additional facilities, ended up mentioning library, office, restroom and storerooms. We want to remind the Deputy Minister that the facilities he mentioned as new, as we have already indicated above, have always been among the components to any basic six-unit classroom block project.”
The NPP said no new component had been added by the NDC to require an additional GH¢180,000 or so inflation in the construction cost of a 6-unit classroom block, adding, “The components have not changed; it is only the cost that has changed under the NDC.”
The NPP said the maximum cost of a basic 6-classroom block in 2008 was GH¢78,000 while the other components, in addition to the classrooms, were a toilet and urinal, constructed separately at the maximum cost of GH¢10,000.
“Thus, under the NPP, the highest acceptable estimate for the construction of a basic six-unit classroom block anywhere in Ghana was GH¢88,000. By 2010, this had shot up to GH¢260,000 in some cases, more than 150 per cent rise, in spite of the acclaimed single digit inflation achievements of the Mills-Mahama government. On top of that, over 90 percent of these contracts were awarded through sole-sourcing, in flagrant abuse of the Public Procurement Act.”
Source Daily Guide