General

Deputy Defence Minister Dares Onua TV/TV3 Over Afari Military Hospital Claims

Deputy Minister of Defence, Kofi Amankwa-Manu, is challenging Media General, operators of TV3, Onua Fm and Onua TV to make themselves available for a site visit to the Afari Military Hospital in the Ashanti for a factfinding mission.

According to him, the Accra-based media outlets have misrepresented the facts concerning the state of the military hospital project and equipment at the uncompleted facility.

He noted that Onua TV and TV3 reports that about $38 million worth of items procured for the hospital had been left to rot at the site is false.

Mr Amankwa-Manu noted that Media General and its outlets including presenters like Captain Smart are only peddling falsehoods as the picture painted on air is different from what is prevailing at the site.

The deputy minister who doubles as MP for Atwima-Kwanwoma in the Ashanti region, further clarifies that items on site will not amount to $1 million, noting that “We want to throw a challenge to Onua TV and TV3 of the Media General to join us to go to the project site on Monday to carry activities there live for Ghanaians to see who is lying. We will pay for all the cost they will incur to carry out that live coverage.”

Lawyer Amankwah Manu flatly denied that the MRI and CT scans plus other equipment at the 38 Afari Military hospital have been abandoned.

He said the equipment as captured and mentioned in the video is not at the hospital but in a Custom Bonded Warehouse in Tema.

Touching on the reason for the delay in the commissioning the hospital, the deputy minister said it is because of outstanding balance owed the contractor which somehow affected the speed of work at the.

He however, mentioned that the project is currently over 95 percent complete.

According to him, the contractor is yet to hand over the project to government before commissioning by the end of the year.

Below is the write up from the deputy minister sighted by DGN Online

Hon. Kofi Amankwaa Manu Writes:_*

“The Afari hospital project was conceived in 2008 during the latter part of former President John Agyekum Kufuor’s administration and under the leadership of Hon. Kan Dapaah as the Defence Minister. Parliament gave approval in November 2008 for the 500-bed-capacity hospital to be constructed at Sofoline in Kumasi at a cost of US$180 million. However, we (New Patriotic Party-NPP) lost power to the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in 2008. When NDC came to power, they decided to change the original site of the project to Tamale and we (NPP’s Minority in Parliament) objected the idea. So, the project site was again changed from Tamale to the 37 Military Hospital in Accra. A sod-cutting ceremony, for instance, was done for the project to begin at the 37 Military Hospital in August 2010.

However, shortly after the project commenced, the contractor was asked to stop work because a new location had been found for the project—Afari. It is important to state that we drafted the contract such that if we changed the site of the location of the hospital, we would have to pay some monies to the contractor. This is because changing the site will affect even the drawings of the project and other technical things, including adding up cost. Because of the changes of location of the project, actual work on the hospital finally began in 2015 after the land had been prepared for the project in 2014 although the project should have started in 2008. Now, the project is about 95% complete and we are hopeful that it will be completed at the end of this year.

We needed to pay the contractor some money, about $36 million. However, our Defence Minister, Hon. Dominic Nitiwul, together with the consultants on the project had negotiated with the contractor to bring down the money to $19 million and as we speak, the Finance Ministry is currently conducting value for money analysis on the said $19 million.

I must say that because we have not paid the money, it has somehow affected the speed of the contractor on the project. However, the project has not been abandoned and workers are still on site working on the facility. It is untrue to say that materials such as MRI Machine and CT Scan Machine procured for the hospital have been left at the mercy of the weather on the site to rot. The MRI Machine and CT Scan Machine have not even been transported to the project site at Afari; they are at a bonded warehouse in Tema. The only machines outside the hospital are the air-handling and extractor fans — they are outdoor items and are properly covered.

All the oxygen cylinders at the site are in their casing and they are being fixed — it is a lie to say that about US$38 million worth of items procured for the hospital had been left to rot at the site. Items on site will not even amount to US$1 million. We want to throw a challenge to Onua TV and TV3 of the Media General to join us to go to the project site on Monday to carry activities there live for Ghanaians to see who is lying. We will pay for all the cost they will incur to carry out that live coverage”.

 

Source: DailyGuide

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