The 500-bed military hospital at Afari in the Atwima Nwabiagya Municipality of the Ashanti Region, is expected to be completed this year, the Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul, has told Parliament.
He said “Construction is expected to be completed by the end of the year,” but the facility would be handed over to the government in the second half of 2020, because the extension of electricity to the facility would take seven months.
“Currently civil works at the hospital site is about 90 per cent complete, whilst that of housing is about 50 per cent complete. Overall civil works is about 70 per cent complete,” Mr Nitiwul, who is also Member of Parliament (MP) for Bimbilla, said on the floor of Parliament in Accra, yesterday.
He was responding to a parliamentary question asked by the MP for the Atwima Nwabiagya South Constituency, Emmanuel Agyei Anhwere, who sought to know why work on the military health facility had stalled.
According to Mr Nitiwul, the construction of the medical facility, which commenced in 2014, and scheduled to be completed in July 2016, stalled because of delayed tax exemption approvals.
The tax exemption, he said, was eventually granted in 2017 after the contractor, Messrs EDI, had been on site for almost three years.
“In April 2018, the project suffered contractual disputes between the main contractor, Messrs EDI and the sub-contractor, Messrs MBS and Messers Hanisa, which lasted for eight months, leading to the (termination) of the sub-contracts. The case is currently in court,” Mr Nitiwul told the House.
The ministry, he said, re-awarded the sub-contracts to new sub-contractors, Messers Africa Building Partners and Messers Core Construction, which took a while too due to background checks that were required and completion of all necessary documentation.
“The new sub-contractors moved to site finally in November 2018 to commence work which has steadily progressed to date without break,” Mr Nitiwul said.
In preparation of completion of the facility, he said a team from the ministry and the contractors had visited Philips, the medical equipment manufacturers, to inspect the equipment to be supplied in Holland and China, and had reported satisfaction with the equipment to be provided.
The agreement for the facility was signed between the government of Ghana and Messers Euroget Da Invest SA in August 2008, for the 500-bed facility with residential staff housing as a Turnkey project to be completed within 42 months of commencement.
With the project credit facility approved by Parliament in November 2018, the contract agreement was revised in January 2010
Scheduled to be built at Tamale, the project was relocated to Accra, before it was finally moved to its current location at Afari.
BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI