8 November 2012

Ghana: â¢4.7 Billion Paid to Contractor for No Job Done

Koforidua — Residents of eight (8) communities in the Kwahu South District of the Eastern Region have petitioned President John Dramani Mahama to immediately institute a commission to investigate a whopping GH¢ 4.7 million that has been paid to a contractor for a job not done.

According to the residents from Okragyei, Asuboni, Nketepa, John Holt, New Oworobong, Dotopong, New Jerusalem and Kwahu Amanfrom, it was beyond logic that the contractor, M/S Lilybot Trading and Construction Limited, would be paid such an amount of money for no job done.

This came to light after the DCE of the area, Hon. Joseph Omari, in June 2011, captured in page 23 of a booklet entitled "Better Ghana Agenda in Action", that a 32km road linking Kwahu Adawso and Mpaemu has been constructed.

It was later discovered that the construction of the said road was a fallacy, since for the past 20 years; no maintenance work has ever been executed on that particular section of the road.

In a petition written by Rev. Raphael Zotor, Secretary to Development Analysis of Concerned Citizens (DACC) to the President, on behalf of the eight communities, copied to The Chronicle, says "Ghana is not a poor country but our attitudinal perspectives are the major hindrance to our development agenda".

According to the group, documents available to them clearly indicate that the road construction project was awarded to Messrs Lillibot Trading and Construction Enterprise and subsequently completed. The tax payers' money of GH¢473,760.00 was paid to the contractor for the completion of the project.

Rev. Zotor mentioned that they found the completion of the said project frivolous, vicious and fraudulent, since no contract of that nature ever existed, nor had been executed in the area.

They have, therefore, called on the President to set up a committee, as a matter of urgency, to investigate the contract in order to save the tax payers' monies from going down the drain.

They have also challenged the Ghana Highways Authority and the District Chief Executive (DCE) of the area, Hon. Joseph Omari, to make public the procedures and all necessary documents leading to the award of the contract.

The group has further called on the DCE to prove to the citizenry of the communities where the contractor sited her office and equipment, and when the contract commenced.

"We expect a high powered delegation from the office of the President to inspect the road construction work to ascertain the truth", the petition declared.

The petition continued that for the sake of accountability, the group immediately called on the DCE and Contractor to refund the said whopping amount of money, which was 'fraudulently' paid for no work done to government purse, to enable the contract to be properly re-awarded to a competent construction firm.

Another document in the possession of The Chronicle from the GHA, dated May14,2012, and signed by the Acting Chief Director at the Ministry of Roads and Highways, Mr. M.A. Abbey, said the road in question, including Donkorkrom-Kwaekese-Bodase and Bodase-Asempaneye, were indeed awarded to the contractor on November 30, 2010, at a contract sum of Gh¢473,760.00 for reshaping.

According to the Acting Chief Director at the Ministry, work on the roads were expected to be commenced on January 3, 2011, and completed on December 31, 2011.

He explained that contrary to the claims by the petitioners that there was no such contract, the Regional Tender Board gave a concurrent approval for the signing of contract agreement with M/S Lilybot Trading and Construction Limited, after laid down procedures were followed.

Even though he denied that an amount of GH¢4,700,000 has been paid to the contractor as the petitioners alleged, Mr. Abbey hinted that records at the Ministry show that the contractor has raised four (4) interim payment certificates so far, amounting to a total of GH¢314,643.96 which have been certified for payment.

He disclosed that the contractor, with IPC No 1 on March 7, 2011, received an amount of GH¢66,562.84, 43,228.24, 131,931.18 and 72,921.70 were further paid to the contractor on April 11, 2011, November 21,2011, and January 10, 2012, respectively adding up to GH¢314,643.96.

But Rev. Zotor stressed that in a desperate attempt by authorities at the GHA and District Assembly to cover up the perceived rot, they have taken pictures from different project sites.

They have, therefore, called on the President to send delegations to the aforementioned areas to ascertain if indeed a said project has been executed.

Meanwhile, Hon. Omari has added his voice to the call on the President to investigate the circumstances that led to the payment of the contractor, in order to ensure accountability.

He explained that he was compelled to capture the project in the said booklet after his office received a letter to the effect that a job was going to be executed on the controversial road.

However, he would admit for any miscommunication as it were, since details of the contract was not made known to the Assembly and not to create fallacy or score political points.

He appealed to the GHA to desist from the act of awarding contracts to contractors without considering the respective heads of the Assembly.

He has affirmed his commitment to ensure that, residents in the District get value for their money, hence would do anything possible to improve on their living standard.

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