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Parliament adopts agreement between Ghana, China

Parliament by a resolution yesterday approved the commercial agreement between Ghana and Poly Changda Oversees Engineering Company Limited and Poly Technology Incorporation of China for a housing project for the Ghana Armed Forces. 

Projects embedded in the US100 million facility to be provided by the Chinese firm include a 160 soldiers’ two-bedroom half compound houses, 176 two-bedroom flats, a one-stores building Military Academy Classroom Block, and a one Military Academy Administration Office Block with 48 offices and conference rooms. 

The rest are a one Military Academy Hostel with 240 self-contained rooms, a one Military Academy Auditorium with a 640 seating capacity, a Platoon Commanders Block containing four two-bedroom flats per floor, and a fence wall around the entire perimeter of the Ghana Military Academy at Teshie in Accra. 

The sole sourced facility, according to the Defence and Interior Committee’s report seen by the Ghanaian Times, would be arbitrated in London, United Kingdom, in the event any dispute arose. 

“The Minister for Defence explained to the Committee that the facility is essentially a Seller’s Credit hence its sole sourced nature was in compliance with the procurement laws therefore, approval had to be sought from the Public Procurement Authority,” the report stated. 

On local content, the report indicated that at least 20 per cent of the contract was to be subcontracted to Ghanaian contractors. 

Sub-structure designs, the report noted, could be varied based on the type of soil and other unforeseen conditions at each site of the project, it said. 

Given that the project designs had been based on the worst case scenario of the sites, the Ministry of Defence does not anticipate any significant variations to the sub- structure design,” the report assured. 

Collins Owusu Amankwa, the Vice Chairman of the Committee and Member of Parliament for Manhyia North, moving the motion for the adoption of the report said the project would go a long way to create the enabling environment for personnel of the three branches of the military. 

Jobs, he added would be created as government was committed to the enforcement of the 20 per cent of the contract was sub-contracted to the locals so that Ghana derived maximum benefit from the project. 

But the Ranking Member of the Committee and MP for Builsa North, James Agagla, whilst seconding the motion said a clause in the agreement which said that the 20 per cent subcontract must be approved by the contractor was unfair and could be abused to the detriment of the country. 

Minority Chief Whip, Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka, on his part, said there was no value of money audit done on the project and questioned why the Attorney-General’s legal advice was not sought on the project; a situation he said was not in the interest of the country. 

Commending the government for the initiative, Alhaji Muntaka said the investment may look huge on paper but was a drop in the ocean in addressing the housing problems facing not only the military and other security agencies; advocating that it should be replicated annually. 

For the Majority Leadership, Adansi Asokwa Member, KT Hammond said the value of money would be done later whiles disputing the claim that the AG’s opinion was not sought in the deal. 

BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI 

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