The aerial view of the uncompleted Twifo Praso district hospital which forms part of the nine projects.
Euroget De-Invest, the Egyptian company contracted to build nine hospitals, including a military hospital in Kumasi, appears to have found itself in a quagmire over the payment of $18 million to the company.
Even though the contract for the nine hospitals is supplier’s credit (turnkey), the Ministry of Finance had paid some money to the company in a very questionable way, leading to a call on the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government to look into the issues.
Sources claim that the $18 million paid to Euroget De-Invest by the previous National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration raises a lot of questions since the entire project was a supplier’s credit which required that any payment by the government of Ghana to the investor be made only after the nine hospitals have been fully constructed and equipped before the deadline – which was November 2012.
However, none of the hospitals is near completion as some have not even taken off.
With the exception of the Wa Regional Hospital which has reached an appreciable level, the other projects are hanging due to inadequate funding.
Several phone calls made to the Cantonments office of the Egyptian company and a follow-up visit by DAILY GUIDE on Monday to ascertain the state of affairs of the projects yielded no fruits as no official was ready to talk to the paper, except that they said they would get back.
As at press time yesterday, no response had been received from Euroget.
The projects are the construction of a 160-bed regional hospital at Wa in the Upper West Region, a 60-bed district hospital for Salaga in the Northern Region, a 60-bed district hospital at Tepa in the Ashanti Region, a 60-bed district hospital for Nsawkaw in Brong-Ahafo Region and a 500-bed military hospital in Kumasi.
There is also to be a 60-bed district hospital for Konongo and a 250-bed regional hospital for the Ashanti Region, which are all in the name of the Ministry of Health.
The rest are a 100-bed district hospital for Madina near Accra and a 60-bed hospital for the Twifo-Praso District in the Central Region.
The company had indicated in 2013 that the Kumasi Regional and Konongo District Hospitals would be given out on contract in July, while the Madina and the Twifo-Praso hospitals were expected to start by September. But some of them are yet to begin while others are at the lintel levels.
Euroget De-Invest had a contract with the government of Ghana to design, build and equip nine new hospitals at the cost of $519 million, excluding insurance.
Sources indicated that under the provision of the contract, the entire project should have been completed within three years of commencement – that’s between 2008 and 2011. Under the terms of the contract, Euroget was obligated to obtain and provide financing in the sum of $612.42 million – being principal and insurance – immediately upon the signing of the contracts in 2008 and commence with the construction of all the nine hospitals, which should have been finished by 2011.
The contract was awarded by the Kufuor administration in 2008 to be completed in three years, but the change of government passed the mandate to the NDC to oversee the execution of the projects.
But nine years down the line, none of the health facilities has been completed, with Euroget crying for cash to execute them.
The initial late take-off of the projects was attributed to the Egyptian political crisis which the contractor claimed prevented the company from sourcing for funds.
However, even before the take-off, Euroget De-Invest had succeeded in grabbing $18 million from the NDC government. The payment was said to have been made on the blind side of the then president, John Evans Atta Mills.
Sources indicate that President Atta Mills got furious about the payment and called for investigation, but died shortly after in 2012, thereby stalling the investigation.
After receiving the $18 million, the Chief Executive of Euroget De-Invest, Dr. Said Deraz, is alleged to be pushing for additional money from the government of Ghana for 6% on insurance interest on the external funds which he promised to invest in the projects.
The company is said to be demanding additional $147 million from the Ministries of Finance and Health for work done, even though most of the projects are at standstill.
The Madina and Adenta district hospital projects have not seen a single block being laid while work on the Salaga, Wa, Tepa, and Twifo-Praso hospitals are stalled because of supposed inadequate cash.
At the Wa project site, the supervisor who mentioned his name as Abdul, confirmed that the project had stalled due to financial constraints.
At Tepa, the security man on duty, said Euroget had abandoned its side of the project. “The project has been partitioned. One is developed by Euroget and the other by the China State Construction. What you can see here is the part being done by the China State Construction firm,” disclosed the security man.
The Resident Civil Engineer of Euroget De-Invest at Wa, Ahmed Abu Shama, who recently conducted the new Upper West Regional Minister, Suleman Alhassan round, said the project had delayed due to lack of finance and other challenges and said they needed funding from the government to complete the project.
The current state of the proposed WA government hospital
Front View of the proposed Salaga District hospital that has been abandoned.
Front View of the abandoned proposed Tepa district government hospital
Dr. Said Deraz with ex-President John Mahama at the launch of his gold refinery in Accra