The state of the Ghanaian economy lecture, comprehensively delivered by Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia last week, has ruffled feathers within the NDC administration so much that 96 hours after the lecture, the government has not been able to put out an official response to the lecture.
More surprising is the fact that even in all their attempts to denounce Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia’s lecture on radio and on social media, the NDC has uncharacteristically remained silent on one serious issue – the issue of corruption; an issue Dr. Bawumia elaborately exposed the government on.
Speaking on Thursday at the National Theatre, Dr. Bawumia identified the issue of corruption – the overpricing of contracts, absence of value for money in projects undertaken by the NDC, as one of the key reasons why despite the enormous resources the government has had, it had failed to materialise in the lives of the Ghanaian people. Dr. Bawumia, who decided not to leave the issue at mere speculation, proceeded to list vivid examples of projects which had clearly been overpriced or corruptly awarded.
“I saw two virtually identical sets of Teachers bungalows in Dambai Teacher Training College this year; one constructed under the NPP in 2007 and the other by the NDC in 2011. These two buildings are side by side. The one constructed by the NPP cost some GH¢195,000 whereas the one constructed by the NDC cost some GH¢ 900,000, 4.6 times more. What accounts for this huge difference?”
“Another example is a runway rehabilitation alone at Kumasi airport which cost this country $23.8 million, whereas a proposed airport at Ho is estimated at $25 million. It is on record that Ethiopia is building its ShireAirport at a cost of $21 million.”, he said.
Dr. Mahamudu Bawumi also proceeded to touch on the Ameri Power Deal and the Bus Branding scandal that rocked the country some months ago.
“The issue of the Ameri Power Deal is one episode of issues bordering on corruption and the failure to ensure value for money for the people of Ghana. In this deal, Ghana is basically purchasing 10 Gas Power Plants for $510 million even though the same Plants can be acquired for $220 million on the market. The government has claimed that the manufacturers of the plant, GE would have provided the plant at a far more expensive price. The situation of overpricing of contracts through the use of sole sourcing as the procurement method of choice is very typical of this John Mahama NDC government.”
“An amount of GH¢3.65 million, from oil funds, was used for the re-branding of 116 Metro Mass Rapid Transit buses. Money was earmarked for a supposed Osu railway. Meanwhile, the company that actually did the work of employing Ghanaians to do the branding of the buses says it charged GH¢11,600 as cost for the branding of all the 116 buses.”, he added.
In what has been termed as a demolishing exercise, Dr. MahamuduBawumia concretely finished the government on the issue of the obscene overpricing of contracts by adding two more examples and comparing the relative costs of Energy projects in Egypt and Abu Dhabi as well as the costs of the University of Ghana Teaching Hospital and the RidgeHospital.
“Egypt is constructing a 1,800 Megawatt gas power plant at a cost of $1.3 billion. Abu Dhabi is constructing a 1,600 Megawatt gas power plant at a cost of $1.5 billion. Together, Ameri and Karpower will cost Ghana over $2 billion over five years, and yet will give us 505 Megawatts.
The University of Ghana has acquired a loan facility of US$217m from the Israeli Government to build a 600-bed teaching hospital at Legon. The cost of building a new 600-bed teaching hospital by the University of Ghana is $30m less than the cost of renovating and expanding Ridge Hospital from 200-bed to 420.”, he said.
Since the lecture however, all the NDC has done on this important issue which goes to confirm the widely held perception by many persons, including founder of the NDC, Jerry John Rawlings, that this government is the most corrupt government in the history of Ghana, is to claim that Dr. Bawumia should have compared the details of the facilities. However, this attempt has generally fallen flat as they have been unable to explain for example, how a renovated RegionalHospital (the RigdeHospital) can have more facilities than a Teaching Hospital (the University of Ghana Teaching Hospital).
Okudzeto Response Vanishes
In attempt to respond to the issue on Friday, particularly regarding the issue of the two identical Lecturer’s bungalows in Dambai, one built by the NPP at GHC195,000 in 2007 and another built by the NDC for GHC900,000 in 2011, the Deputy Education Minister repeated the worn out cliché that Dr. MahamuduBawumia lied.
However when challenged to put out the truth, the Minister could not disclose what the truth was and rather promised that the National Council for Tertiary Education was going to come out with a statement on Friday on the issue – 100 hours after that promise has however passed without a single statement or rebuttal in any form from the Council as was promised.
There were indications that the government was trying to reduce the cost of the project to make a bold claim that the NPP Running Mate had lied, but has had to back down on the attempts as the records on the two projects are traceable.
Source: The New Crusading Guide