The Vice President, Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has revealed that the official residence being constructed for the Vice President on the Switchback road at Cantonments in Accra costs US$13.9 million.
According to him, he was shocked when it was revealed to him that President John Mahama’s administration awarded the contract for the construction through a non-competitive bidding (sole sourcing).
Speaking at a Good Corporate Governance Initiative forum in Accra on Tuesday, Dr Bawumia said it was important to enforce the Public Procurement Act strictly so as to avoid such blatant abuse of the Public Procurement Act to safeguard the taxpayers’ money.
“Very importantly, we want to ensure the strict enforcement of the public procurement Act, Act 663, it is an Act that in my opinion and in the opinion of many, has really been abused recently, the resort to sole-sourcing of contracts has been more the rule rather than the exception.”
“The way the act was designed, sole-sourcing was not supposed to be as rampant as we are seeing it today and I think that we will have to enforce this Public Procurement Act.”
“I’ll give you one example which I found out recently; there was this brouhaha about the vice president’s residence, I’m sure you heard about that, so in the context of discussing this issue, there’s supposed to be a vice president’s residence under construction, official, so to speak, so I asked the question: why is this project being delayed, why hasn’t it been finished?
“And they said: ‘Well the contractor is owed a lot of money. I said: ‘Well how much is this money?’ And then I’m told it is actually a lot of money. How much is this house actually costing and I was shocked when I was told. Can you believe in Ghana we are building a house to house our vice president and this house is supposed to cost US$13.9million? I mean what sort of house is this supposed to be? I mean is the gate made of gold, the pavement of gold, the blocks of gold?
“A house in Ghana for 13.9 million dollars? I couldn’t believe it. How many boreholes couldn’t we have done [with such an amount?]. Of course I’m 100% sure it didn’t go through competitive tender otherwise we would have known about it. It was most likely sole-sourced and there it stands uncompleted, but this is just an example of many contracts that we don’t have value for money for …” Dr Bawumia said.