The contractor whose company constructed the structure meant to house the proposed 150 bed Ofankor District Hospital has affirmed that he put up the structures, without the medical equipment, at a cost of Ghs5.7m, equivalent to $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 NDC that it was not possible to construct such a facility at a cost much lower than the $25m it committed the Government of Ghana to pay for the construction of district hospitals across the nation when it was in charge of the national purse.
The Vice President of the Republic, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia had revealed on Monday June 25, 2018 that the Government of Ghana is paying an average of $25million while the private sector, such as the African Development Bank, pays a much lower figure for a sometimes larger facility.
“At a recent meeting of the EMT (Economic Management Team), it emerged that Ghana constructs 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 GHC5.76 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 wondered while addressing participants at a Value for Money Conference on Monday in Accra.
The Ministry of Health has since confirmed it will cost Ghs 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 afternoon socio-political programme ‘Me Man Nti’, on Tuesday June 26, 2018, Barima Ameyaw, whose company, Georgeland Ventures Ltd put up the proposed Ofankor Hospital – at the centre of controversy over allegedly abandoned health facilities and bloated figures – was emphatic that the $25m was not acceptable, and confirmed structural works had cost Ghs 5,769,027.64, equivalent to $1.3m.
He told show host Adakabre Frimpong Manso: “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.”