SOME MEMBERS of the ruling National Democratic Congress at the Ada East Constituency of the Greater Accra region are up in arms with their Member of Parliament (MP), Comfort Doyoe Cudjoe Ghansah, accusing her of unexplained dealing in the recently commissioned Kasseh Ada No.1 branch of the Ghana Private Roads Transport Union station.
But, the MP, who is also a Minister of State at the Presidency in-charge of Social and Allied Institutions, has rubbished the allegation stressing that “I know some few detractors are saying that the project did not go through tender, but it is not every work that should go to a contractor.”
Their frustration was borne out of the fact that the contract awarded for the refurbishment of the said Kasseh Ada station which cost over GH¢331, 000.00 did not go through proper procurement procedure and are therefore seeking to know from the MP how the contract was given and which newspaper carried the tender publication.
The Daily Heritage also gathered from the grounds that prior to the MP awarding the contract, the immediate past District Chief Executive’s (DCE) regime commenced work on the same station, but they later heard on radio that the work had been given to a contractor without recourse to them.
When the paper contacted the former DCE, Daniel Wusa, he explained that, “we started filling the place with laterite to bring it to level. The idea was that we used it for some time to get it seated. We put the second phase on the budget waiting to mobilize funds available for it to be done.
“Then out of the blue, one day, the MP gave it out on contract that the people will be paid bit-by-bit from the District Assembly Common Fund, when we have done the first phase. The amount for the project was in our 2013 budget.”
Mr. Wusa who was the chairman of the tender committee prior to the commencement of work lamented that, “As to the process of procurement, whether she satisfied that or not, that is what we don’t know. I was the chairman of the tender entity and processes towards procuring the contractor to do it, the amount involved and the work to be done, ought to be done by the tender entity, so I didn’t know and it came to me as a surprise.”
According to him, “there was no advert to request for interested contractors to bid for the project. All these things ought to have been done through the District Assembly. I was the chairman of the tender entity but I didn’t know anything about it.”
Mr. Wusa, however, viewed the steps taken by the MP for awarding the contract as a surprise, indicating, “If she was using her pocket money then fine, but if she was using public money to do it, then the process was strictly wrong and false.”
Reacting to the wild allegations, Madam Ghansah said “This is a direct labour something, that we did. It was not done by a contractor.”
Explaining further what direct labour meant, the Ada MP said, “If the contract will take huge money and the contractor brings you huge money and you feel you cannot go with it, then you buy the materials for a local contractor to do.
“In this case, it does not need tendering. We have two types of work, if you are going to give work to a contractor, then it goes through tendering so that is what some of them don’t understand.”
Asked where funds for the project came from, she said, the District Assembly Common Fund has not been released and that funds for the project came directly from her pocket, but was quick to assert that when the common fund is released deductions will be made to that effect.
She said some of the materials were bought from Regimanuel CP and that while some have receipt in her name, other receipts were acknowledged in the name of the Assembly.
According to her, when the Assembly wanted to tender it, they said this GH¢331, 000.00 is going to do only the pavement, excluding gravels and other physical changes including a shed, and that looking at the figure, coupled with the fact that, “my father was a contractor, all those things I understood very well, so what I did was we did the calculation and I realized that, that money can do a lot in the station, so instead of giving it to a contractor to do just the pavement, we should rather do the direct labour and we should make sure we don’t exceed what is there.”
Madam Ghansah further told the paper that, in terms of quality of work, “a contractor will give you a shoddy work, as compared to that of the local contractor.”