Ignore Ablakwa’s inaccurate, misleading claim on cost of Astro Turf project – GNPC Foundation

Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa
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The Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) Foundation, has asked the general public to ignore claims by North Tongu Member of Parliament Samuel Okudzeto regarding the cost of the ongoing Astro Turf project in the country.

The Foundation said it is evident Mr Okudzeto Ablakwa failed to appreciate and understand the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) report in its entirety as one detailing expenditure on projects within the calendar year rather than one on total cost of the project.

Mr Ablakwa, in series of tweets, questioned how Ghana’s oil money is being used under whet he termed as ‘controversial and hazy circumstances to construct Astro Turfs with conflicting unit costs; and the discriminatory distribution.’

But the Foundation in a statement assured the public of its commitment to impacting positively on people and communities within GNPC’s production enclave and across the country through the implementation of social impact programmes and projects.

Providing facts about the project, the Foundation said “The GNPC Foundation’s Sports Infrastructure Project began in 2018 with the aim to improve the standards of sports infrastructure in local communities to harness sporting talents of which football remains a critical agent. The Astroturf project seeks to help hone existing football and sporting talents across the country.

“GNPC funded Astroturf facilities are constructed with FIFA quality approved materials and are set to FIFA specifications with pitch dimensions of 96×66 meters. Each facility is equipped with wire fencing and flood lights. At the outset of the project in 2018, the cost of construction of each Astroturf was pegged at $250,000 (GHS997,337.00). In 2019 and 2020, the cost of each facility increased to $300,000 (GHS1,599, 065.00) as accurately stated by the Minister of Energy, Honourable Matthew Opoku Prempeh, in his response to Parliament on July 5th, 2022.

“Currently, the cost per Astroturf facility stands at $350,000 (GHS2,366,666.68) with the incremental costs attributed to rising cost
in construction. Honourable Okudzeto’s interpretation of the reported figure of GHS319,813.00 as the unit cost of each Astroturf is factually inaccurate and misleading.

“The figure as contained in the 2021 PIAC Report represents how much had been expended on each project as at the reporting time rather than the total cost per Astroturf facility.

“Indeed, this figure only represents 20% of the total contract sum of GHS1,599,065.00 per facility in 2019-2020. Thus, the GH319,813.00 quoted in the PIAC report represents progress payment based on milestones.”

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

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