General News of Monday, 6 February 2017
National Democratic Congress (NDC) General Secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketia has presented a document to dispute New Patriotic Party (NPP) government claims that the cost of a bungalow for the Vice-President is $13.9million.
According to a two-page document, the contract sum of the bungalow is 3.56m. It did not indicate on the face of the document whether the currency is cedis or dollars.
The controversy over the cost of the bungalow was triggered by Vice-President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia who publicly expressed shock at the $13.9 million cost of the yet-to-be-completed bungalow.
But the NDC challenged the figure quoted by Dr. Bawumia and accused him of playing politics with the matter.
A former Presidential staffer Clement Apaak under the NDC government in a rebuttal claimed the true cost of the project is $5.9million and not any where close to the $13.9 million figure put out by the vice president.
In the face of the allegation and the counter-allegation, the NPP Communications Director Nana Akomea last Saturday on Newsfile, presented a report from the Architectural and Engineering Services Limited (AESL) containing what he said were exhaustive details on the construction of the bungalow. In the document was the cost of the project which was put at $13.9m.
But the credibility of the document was challenged by MP for Bolga Central Isaac Adongo who was also on the Newsfile program.
Checks by Samson Ayenini, Lawyer and host of Newsfile program, from officials of AESL indicate the document presented by Akomea is authentic.
“There is no doubt about it”, he stressed on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show Monday. He was however quick to add that there is another document from AESL which was produced as a result of concerns about the cost of the project.
He explained the initial $13.9 million cost estimated by AESL angered some top officials of the erstwhile government who wrote back to AESL to demand a reduction in the cost of the project.
But the former presidential staffer Adu-Asare was not impressed with the details in the Akomea document and the explanation by Smason Anyenini. He challenged the figure in the document and suggested that if the document by Akomea is not signed, it cannot be authentic.
He however did not mention the true cost of the project except to challenge the Works and Housing Minister to put the full details of the document before Parliament.
When the sit-in host of the Morning Show Nhyira Addo asked him whether the amount for the project was approved by Parliament before the project started, the presidential staffer could not say.
He insisted however that the document put out by Akomea was not authentic. In a twist of the tale, the General Secretary of the NDC Johnson Asiedu Nketia presented a new document from the AESL, signed by the Managing Director Louis Atongo which puts the cost of the project at 3,563,884. It is not clear whether the figure quoted is in cedis or dollars.
However, the document suggested that an amount of 1 million cedis had been paid already for the project to be executed.