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NDC Spends $50,000 On 2-Bedroom Flat   
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The ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) is constructing a two-bedroom flat at the cost of $50,000 to accommodate workers undertaking the Akim Oda, Akwatia and Winneba water supply projects.

The $50,000 two-bedroom house is being constructed in each of the three beneficiary communities totaling $150,000 from two credit facilities, which were approved by Parliament yesterday.

The Minority caucus indicated that there was no value for money in the projects as it wondered why a two-bedroom house that was being constructed on a government land should cost so much when a similar house constructed in Accra including the cost of the land was $38,000.

The loans, which were approved in one report of the joint committee of Finance and Works and Housing, were a $135,964,703.17 facility from the Turkish Exim Bank and cedi equivalent of $28,970,899.38 from eight local banks.

The local banks are Cal Bank Limited, Amalgamated Bank Limited, Bank of Baroda Ghana Limited, Barclays Bank Ghana Limited, Ghana Commercial Bank Limited, Merchant Bank Ghana Limited, Ecobank Ghana Limited and Unibank Ghana Limited.

Dr. Akoto Osei, the Minority spokesperson on finance, cautioned government to do value-for-money analysis if the project was being executed through a single sourcing contract.

According to him, a two-bedroom flat should not cost $50,000, especially when the contractor was using government land to build the three houses.

The Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing, he suggested, should come back to brief the House on value for money assessment of the projects.

Former Deputy Minister for Finance and Economic Planning Prof. Gyan-Baffour urged parliamentary committees to ensure there was value for money on projects before they brought their reports to the House.

But the MP for Ayawaso East, Dr. Mustapha Ahmed, insisted government always did value for money assessments on all loans before they were brought to Parliament for approval.

Following the apparent disagreements, Speaker Justice Joyce Bamford-Addo ruled that the Works and Housing Minister should come to the House later to justify the cost of the flats with a certificate of value for money to enable the House to track how the money would be used.

When completed, the Akim Oda Water Supply System Rehabilitation and Expansion Project would serve the people of Akim Asene, Akim Manso, Atiankama Nkwanta, Aboabo, Amantem, Batabi and surrounding communities.

The Winneba Project would benefit the inhabitants of Winneba and surrounding areas including Mpota, Okyereko, Nsuekyir, Esobonpanyin, Gyahadze, Ansaful, Pomadze, Gomoa Mampong, Mankoadze, Bewadze, Mankoadze, Mprunmem, Onyadze, Otsew, Nkroful, Simbrofo, Ankamu, Apam, Mumford and Dago.

For the Akwatia Water Supply System Expansion Project, beneficiary communities would include Bawdua, Topreman, Bamanase, GCD Camp, Aubone Camp No 4, Anweaso, Mmoframfadwen and surrounding communities.

The project is scheduled to be completed in 36 months after the commencement of work while there would also be a defect liability period of 12 months.

The report of the joint committee of Finance and Works and Housing indicated that the cedi equivalent of $28,970,899.38, representing a 15 percent of the cost of the project, was the counterpart funding required to be provided by the government of Ghana through the Ghana Water Company Limited.

However, due to resource constraints on the government and the need to ensure a smooth implementation of the projects, the amount was being sourced by the government from the local banking sector.

Source: Awudu Mahama/D-Guide

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