General News of Monday, 21 December 2015
Communications Director of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akomea, has described as misguided government’s reaction to comments by the opposition party’s flagbearer, Nana Akufo-Addo.
Government says Mr. Akufo-Addo’s claims all government contracts are inflated beyond acceptable limits constitute nothing but a shifting of the goal.
Communications Minister Dr. Omane Boamah, reacting to the NPP flagbearer’s comments made at the party’s extraordinary delegates’ conference at Sunyani at the weekend, said the NPP was shifting the goal posts from allegations of incompetence against the president to bloated costs of infrastructure.
“We note that ever since government began the publication and provision of irrefutable evidence of its achievements, the leadership and membership of the opposition party have changed their oft-repeated narrative of ‘non-performance’ to one of ‘inflation of project cost’”, he sated.
But speaking on Jy FM’s Super Morning Monday, Nana Akomea said whether government inflates costs or deprives the country of key infrastructure projects, both fit the description of incompetence.
“Inflating the cost of infrastructure is also a part of incompetence,” he stressed.
Nana Akomea said evidence of incompetence by the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) is its consistent resort to sole-sourcing for almost all infrastructure projects.
“I don’t understand the Minister of Communication. If anybody presents you with the costing based on sole-sourcing all the time, would you not be worried? How are we to ensure that we are getting value for money?” Nana Akomea asked.
Citing the recent 3.6 million Ghana cedis bus branding deal, Nana Akomea said the cost was high because the deal was sole-sourced.
The cost of branding some 116 buses generated public condemnation, with some suggesting that the cost has been bloated. Government has directed the Attorney-General to look into the matter after the public outrage over the expenditure.
Another deal that has come under public scrutiny over suspected inflated cost is the 510 million dollar AMERI power project.
Analysts say government could have saved about $160 million dollars on the power deal had due diligence been observed.
“The branding of buses where there are some three black and white pictures and colour pictures of President John Mahama is a bogus idea and a very bad and insensitive way of spending public funds,” Akomea told Super Morning Show host, Kojo Yankson.
Deputy Communications Minister Felix Kwakye-Ofosu said Akomea’s claims are part of an NPP scheme to malign the government and paint it as corrupt.
Speaking on the Super Morning show, Kwakye-Ofosu said the NPP and its leader intentionally put out claims of over-bloated costs of projects without any evidence.
According to him, not all government projects have been entered into through sole-sourcing and those that were sole-sourced were done above board.
“Sole-sourcing as a principle is provided for under our procurement laws. When you do sole-sourcing you go through specific requirements in order to do it and the Public Procurement Authority is always involved,” he said.