The Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for Kwaebibirem in the Eastern Region of Ghana, Seth Antwi Boasiako has justified the abrogation of a contract awarded to Kingdowsco Enterprise by his predecessor in the previous administration to build an office complex to accommodate the administration of the assembly.
According to the MCE, his predecessor E. A. Osae who superintended over the Municipality between the year 2010 to 2014, failed to exercise proper fiscal analysis and due diligence to ascertain whether the assembly had the capacity to finance the project before awarding the contract.
As a result of nonpayment of work done up to the substructure level in 2011, the contractor sued the assembly and was awarded a judgment debt to the tune of GHC 263,491.34 in 2016.
Appearing before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Wednesday, January 15, 2020, Mr. Antwi Boasiako told the committee members that he had to take the decision to abrogate the contract because the assembly simply didn’t have the fiscal space to continue the project after it had serviced a judgment debt awarded to the contractor in 2016 for nonpayment of work done for the assembly.
The Public Accounts Committee begun its public sittings since Monday, January 13, 2020 to consider the Auditor General’s Report on the management and utilization of the District Assembly’s Common Fund and other statutory funds for the year ending 31st December, 2015 and 2016.
The Chairman of the Committee, James Kludze Avedzi who is also the Deputy Minority Leader and MP for Ketu North, indicated in his opening remark that the sittings will last for six days and has since served notice that the Committee will not hesitate to invoke its powers under the constitution to met out punitive measures to institutions which will take the exercise for granted.
The Kwaebibirem Municipal Assembly was cited in the Auditor General’s Report for abandoned projects within the municipality amounting to a waste of state resources. For example, a total amount of GHC 313,691.34 has been spent on this office complex for the assembly so far but according to the auditors it remains abandoned.
However, responding to the query, the Kwaebibirem MCE, Mr. Antwi Boasiako contended that the decision to terminate the contract was in the best interest of the assembly because the original cost of the project awarded in the year 2011 at a cost of GHC 1,477,183 in addition to the settlement of the judgment debt of GHC 263,491.34 was way beyond the fiscal ability of the assembly.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Africa News Radio at the sidelines of the PAC sitting, Mr. Antwi Boasiako indicated that he inherited over ten uncompleted projects from the previous administration was supposed to cost the assembly over 2.4 Million Ghana Cedis to complete.
“Let me tell you that in 2016 alone they awarded as many as 8 contracts in addition to the over 13 which were awarded between 2010 and 2011. Meanwhile, the Common Fund is so small.
“The abandoned projects were many but with prudence we have managed to complete almost all of them with the exception of the office complex which we consider not to be a pressing need for the assembly. We have, among other projects, completed the lorry park and classroom blocks in other two communities,” he indicated.
According to the Municipal Chief Executive, the administration of the assembly is already decently accommodated and therefore building a new office complex is not a priority for the assembly right now. More so when there are a lot of projects to be undertaken in other parts of the community.
Source: Clement Akoloh||africanewsradio.com