Come clear about contracts at 'bloated' budget prices or... - Ato Forson threatens

Source: Ghana|
Date: 28th-december-2017 Time:  05:49:03 am

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The Former Deputy Finance Minister has threatened to go public with information on contracts awarded by the Special Development's Initiative Minister based on its controversial budget.

Cassiel Ato Forson, who is also the Ranking Member of the Finance Committee of Parliament, has challenged Mavis Hawa Koomson to deny his claims regarding the said contracts.

Speaking to Joy News after government released a statement in defence of the Ministry’s controversial budget which has sparked public outrage, he said the contracts have been advertised and awarded to companies at the stated rate in the budget.

The Ministry had earlier budgeted for GH¢800,000 for a website which was later said to be an error with an explanation that it is supposed to be Gh¢80,000.

Also budgeted for is a six-unit classroom block at the cost of GH¢770,000 each, GH¢6.5 million on furniture and GH¢15 million on renting an office space in 2018.

Already, an aide to the embattled Minister of Special Development Initiative has explained the errors which characterised the Ministry's budget.

Nana Owusu Acheampong rose to the defence of Madam Hawa Koomson, explaining among other things that the cost for another contentious item, boreholes, is justified. He said the boreholes are sophisticated community-based water system.

But the Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam MP said, “as we speak contracts for the six-unit classroom block, boreholes and ambulance have all been awarded.”

Mr Forson said government is behaving in “an untruthful manner” instead of eating a humble pie and accepting that there was wrongdoing for the Special Development's Initiative Minister to be punished.

Mr Forson criticised the double standard of the Akufo-Addo government for calling out Mahama’s administration after undertaking a similar borehole project at what then opposition NPP described as an expensive price.

“They said a borehole at GH¢60,000 was robbing the state but today they are justifying GH¢132,000…impressive…” he said.

He accused the Information Minister of labelling former President John Mahama as corrupt for awarding a borehole contract at GH¢60,000 but is defending a much higher cost.

Mr Forson said it is unfortunate that Mr Hamid who has suffered an "emergency landing" is trying to justify and do damage control for something as wrong as a bloated budget.

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