General News of Monday, 13 March 2017
Reports reaching DAILY GUIDE indicate that state-run oil storage company – Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation (BOST) – has stopped a headquarters facility under construction at the cost of $39 million.
DAILY GUIDE has learnt that the contractors working on the building – Rolider – an Israeli construction firm, has been asked to stop work until value for money audit has been carried out.
The contract, according to sources, was originally valued at $18 million but suddenly jumped to $39 million, raising questions about the cost.
According to inside sources, the accountant of the company at the time of the award of the contract, who raised query about the propriety of spending $18 million on the project, was allegedly interdicted on a flimsy case, only for the project to shoot to $39 million.
To this end, management of BOST has written to Architectural & Engineering Services Limited (AESL) to carry out the audit since in the view of the management, the cost of the project could not be anything but a complete rip-off.
The contractor, Rolider, is said to have already been paid $8 million as mobilization fee and the contract was awarded under the administration of Kwame Awuah-Darko, a presidential hopeful of the NDC for the 2020 presidential polls.
The contract was said to have been sole-sourced.
Attempts to speak to Mr Awuah-Darko were unsuccessful as he was said to be out of the jurisdiction.
However, the current Managing Director, Alfred Obeng, when contacted, confirmed the stoppage of the contract to allow for the audit.
The management may also want to seek the services of a third party after the AESL valuation and the contractors had been made to understand that.
Despite the order to stop work, the contractors appear not to budge as a visit to the site yesterday at the Gulf House area (opposite NALAG headquarters) saw workers mounting a billboard for the installation of an air conditioner at the entrance of the project site.
Since the assumption of office by the current administration, efforts are being made to streamline things.
The state-owned company recently supported the ‘Ghana: 60 Years On’ independence celebration in line with President Akufo-Addo’s request for corporate bodies to support the initiative.
The company had previously supported such government initiatives as its corporate social responsibility, including Ghana’s participation in the Rio Olympic Games.