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NDC Doles Out $18m For Four Ambulances   
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In what may come to many Ghanaians as a shocking revelation, the Mills-Mahama led National Democratic Congress administration has disregarded the terms of a contract to dole out a whopping $18m to one Dr Said Deraz, an Egyptian investor, in return for only four ambulances for the nation.

The Government of Ghana entered into a contract with Dr Deraz’s investment company, Euro Get De- Invest SA, for the construction of two Regional Hospitals in Wa and Kumasi, and additional six District Hospitals at Twifo-Praso, in the Central Region; Konongo-Odumasi and Tepa, Ashanti; Nsawkaw, Brong-Ahafo; Salaga, Northern; and Adenta-Madina in the Greater Accra Region.

As part of the terms of the deal, which has a documentation of about 500 pages, and being championed by Acting President John Mahama, Euro Get De-Invest was to source for money to pay for the total cost of the project totalling almost $400 million dollars.

The Egyptian investor, who brought no money from his country, was originally issued with a Government of Ghana Sovereign Guarantee, and later issued with Promissory Notes, to enable him source for funds from international financial institutions to finance the project.

It was provided under this Suppliers Credit project that “any payment by Government of Ghana to the investor has to be made ONLY after...the hospitals have been fully constructed and equipped by November 2012.”

The US based company SYMX Healthcare Corporation was selected and contracted by the Egyptian investor “to provide all the labour, equipment and materials to construct these hospitals for the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Defence for the Republic of Ghana.”

SYMX subsequently sub-contracted the construction scope to an Italian construction company, Gruppo GEDI.

According to a Project Review document authored by Gruppo GEDI, even though money paid by the Mills-Mahama led administration to the Egyptian investor is approximately $18m, “work done on all sites” is just “site clearance, hoarding and some limited exaction.”

This is the state of the project which was expected to be completed in November, 2012, with Government only obliged to make any payment after the hospitals “have been fully constructed and equipped.”

So far what the nation has obtained from the Egyptian investor is four ambulances, in return for the $18m dole out.

Donating two of the ambulances to the Ministry of Health on Thursday, August 5, 2010, Joseph Marinoni, Ghana Country Director and Member of Board of Directors of Euro Get De- Invest SA, pledged to handover to the Government “Two fully furnished Regional and Six District Hospitals... within the next Two years.”

But checks made at the sites indicate no activity taking place. Residents of Wa are even up in arms against Acting President John Mahama who cut the sod for the construction of their supposed Regional Hospital on July 31, 201.

After being promised the construction of a 160-bed regional hospital by Mr Mahama, and with no sign of construction two years down the line, the people believe the NDC administration is taking them for a ride, seeing them as people who would always deceived to vote for the party. Stay tuned for more.
Source: Kwabena Amankwah/thestatesmanonline.com

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