Kwame Agbodza, Member of Parliament for Adaklu in the Volta region has appealed to Parliament to direct the Committee on Defence and Interior to ensure value for money is a condition in a US$100 million loan agreement for the Ministry of Defense.
He considers the absence of a value for money assessment in the project as a serious anomaly. He argued that whenever a suppliers’ credit loan facility is signed, value for money is made condition precedent so government can carry value audits to authenticate the rates in the agreement.
Hon. Kwame Agbodza was speaking to journalists after the House approved a commercial agreement between government and Poly Changda Overseas Engineering Company Limited and Poly Technologies Inc of China for an amount of US$100 million to complete a housing project for the military.
He cautioned that the omission of a value for money clause will not ensure quality because the developer has not been given any standard.
He said, “This House must ensure the appropriate thing is done and that such a clause is inserted into the agreement.”
“This House must not approve an agreement that offers the developer open cheque to perform their work as they please. There must be a value for money clause.”
He noted that a similar situation arose when the House was considering the Sinohydro loan facility, which incidentally was also brought to the House without value for money.
“This House was promised value for money audit had been conducted on the Sinohydro agreement and that it could be presented to us but till date we have not seen it.”
Vice chairman of the Committee on Defence and Interior, Collins Owusu Amankwa who presented the Committee’s report to the House observed that officers of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) face serious housing deficit due to unavailability of enough housing options to meet growing demand of servicemen and women.
The barracks, he said, suffer from congestion and the drainage system have not been upgraded for years.
“Mr. Speaker, government recognises accommodation facilities of the security services in the country is repugnant and therefore the urgency to institute measures to improve and expand the facilities.”
Facilities to be constructed under the specific project provided under the agreement include 160 two-bed half compound houses, 176 two-bed flats, one storey building military academy classroom block, a military administration office block with 48 offices and conference rooms and one military academy hostel with 240 self contained rooms. The rest are one military academy auditorium seating 640 people, a platoon commander block containing four two-bed flats per floor and a fence wall around the entire perimeter of the Ghana Military Academy at Teshie in Accra.
Mr. Collins Amakwah noted that description of the construction in Tamale as dormitories captured in a ministerial memorandum to Parliament was erroneous because the committee has verified through technical details and drawings the buildings would be two-bed flats with sitting rooms, kitchens, toilets and bathrooms.
He said, “Government as part of its programme, planned to ensure that the Armed Forces are adequately provided with newly constructed accommodation and to rehabilitate the existing dilapidated ones.”
“In June 2017, the President cut sod for the construction of four Housing Units for the GAF, whilst work on 20 blocks of flats commenced in Tamale from the Internally Generated Funds (IGF) of the GAF,” he disclosed, adding that “In view of these accommodation challenges facing the Forces, the Government formulated this Project to address the challenges”