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Pressure On Govt To Probe ‘Inflated’ Contracts In Prestea   
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Prestea for Development Association (PDA), a concerned youth group in the Prestea Huni-Valley District of the Western Region, has called on government to conduct investigations into some toilet contracts which were awarded in 2014 by the former District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr Robert Wisdom Cudjoe.

The call, according to the youth, has become necessary because they suspect some fishy deals went on in the awarding of those contracts during the eight-year tenure of the DCE.

Among the issues the youth raised were; the manner in which funds allotted to the district were allegedly siphoned into private pockets and inflation of projects by the former administration.

Addressing a press conference in Prestea last Monday, spokesperson for the PDA, Mr. Francis Eshun, demanded to know why a 12-seater Acqua Privy toilet facility awarded in 2014 could cost much higher than a 20-seater similar facility in another district.

“In 2015, Bawku Municipal Chief Executive, Bukari Isaaku, handed over a 20-seater toilet facility each to four communities—Kpawelga, Gingande, Sabon-Gari and Missiga— in the Bawku Municipality. Each facility came with boreholes and submersible pumps. The cost of each facility was GH¢137,750,” Mr Eshun disclosed.

Similarly, he said, in 2014 Newmont Ahafo Development Foundation (NADeF) constructed similar facility for the Wamahinso community at a cost of GH¢59,796.

“The contract sums for the same projects in our district are as follows: 12-seater Acqua Privy Toilet at Akokobediabro-GH¢148,107.44; Kodiakrom-GH¢149,942.84; Ndadieso, GH¢149,942.80; Achiase-GH¢150,854.55, and; Adjeikrom GH¢145,252,” he revealed.

The group noted that payments by the district assembly as at 2017 were as follows: Ndadieso-GH¢98,398.48, Koduakrom GH¢122,218.93, Akokobediabro GH¢ 140,702.02, WC at Adjeikrom GH¢137,990.26 and Achiase GH¢117,058.78.

According to the group, due to the inflated figures, most of the projects have stalled, with others being abandoned despite the fact that the district has continuously been budgeting and paying monies for projects since 2014.

This, we deem, as a clear case of “causing financial loss” and not protecting the public purse.

“It must be stated that apart from the GH¢1,422,294 District Administrative Complex constructed in 2012 using Mineral Development Fund (MDF) of the district, the district assembly cannot boast of any prominent visible project in Prestea, Bogoso, Aboso or Huni Valley, despite having access to over 2.5 trillion cedis (old cedis), which is money that allegedly passed through the hands of Robert Wisdom Cudjoe from 2008-2016, who was then the DCE,” Mr Eshun said.

To this end, the group appealed to the Ministry of Local Government and rural development and other investigative agencies such as EOCO to investigate the matter.

When Mr Cudjoe was contacted, he described the claims by the youth as unsubstantiated.

Source: today

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