Owner of Georgeland Ventures Limited whose company constructed the structure meant to house the proposed 150-bed Ofankor District Hospital has said he put up the structures, without the medical equipment, at a cost of ¢5.7 million ($1.3m).
Barima Dr Ofori Ameyaw, who is also a former President of the Ghana Union Traders Association (GUTA), has also confirmed that funding for the project was provided by the African Development Bank (AfDB).
He was reacting to claims by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) that it was not possible to construct such a facility at a cost much lower than the $25 million it committed government to pay for the construction of district hospitals across the nation.
The proposed Ofankor Hospital is at the centre of controversy over allegedly abandoned health facilities and bloated figures.
Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia had revealed on Monday that the government is paying an average of $25 million while the private sector, such as the African Development Bank, pays a much lower amount for a sometimes larger facility.
“At a recent meeting of the Economic Management Team, it emerged that Ghana constructed 60-80 bed district hospitals for $25 million. You will hear today that the African Development Bank constructed a 150-bed hospital in Accra for some ¢5.76 million or $1.3 million without equipment.
“Even if we have to equip this hospital for some $1 million, the total cost cannot get to more than $3 million. So how come we are building district hospitals for $25 million, a figure which even excludes the tax exemptions granted on equipment imported for the hospitals?” Vice President Bawumia said at a Value for Money Conference on Monday in Accra.
The Health Ministry has since confirmed it will cost ¢7.1m, equivalent to about $1.5m, to fully equip the facility. This will bring the total cost of making the Ofankor District Hospital fully functional to $2.8m.
The Vice President’s comment has since generated heated debate, with the opposition NDC claiming the figure had been concocted.
But speaking on Neat FM’s, Tuesday Mr Barima Ameyaw was emphatic that the $25m was not acceptable, confirming that structural works had cost ¢5,769,027.64 ($1.3m).
“I am surprised at the figure announced by the Vice President at the Value for Money Conference. I am a contractor with long years of experience, and I know it should not cost like that.
‘I am a citizen, not a spectator, and it saddens me that the State is paying so much for such a facility. This is not good for Ghana,” he said.
Source: Joy News