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“Mills’ Priority Is Judgment Debts Payment”


“Mills’ Priority Is Judgment Debts Payment”

Prez MillsThe Minority in Parliament has accused the Mills/Mahama led NDC of prioritizing the payment of judgment debts, including “doubtful ones”, at the expense of crucial national developmental problems.

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Addressing a press conference Wednesday, the Minority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, drew the nation’s attention to some critical areas which had somewhat been starved of the required funds, in favour of judgment debts payment.

For Priority Intervention Programmes for the 2012 fiscal year the Mills-Mahama administration could only allocate GH?30 million to SADA; for MASLOC it could only allocate GH?35 million; GH?28 million for the removal of schools under trees; GH?22 million for scholarships to all Ghanaian students both home and abroad; GH?10 million to the University of Health and Allied Sciences-Ho; GH? 10 million – University of Energy and Natural Resources – Sunyani; GH?10 million for Malaria Vector Control Programme across the country; GH?2 million each for the construction of Maternity Hospital, Tema and Children’s block at the Korlebu Teaching Hospital.

“When you add up all these figures you will arrive at GH?137 million and this same government finds it convenient and appropriate to give a dole out of GH?225 million to CP. This is the NDC government’s priority. There is something wrong with the prioritization agenda of the NDC,” Mr Kyei-Mensah lamented.

According to the minority, sufficient evidence was available which the Mills-Mahama administration could have used to prevent the payment of that amount to CP.

The Minority Leader explained that according to the three contracts -- i.e. Biriwa – Takoradi Road Project, the Assin Prasso – Yamoransa Road Project and the Akim Oda area Roads -- Government entered into with CP on December 5, 1996, CP was required to submit a performance security and also fulfil insurance requirements before commencing works, conditions they did not meet.

Again the [BTRP] contract sum CP submitted was later found out by the Ghana Highways Authority to be “loaded” or “padded” to the tune of DM44 million which represented a so-called loss of profit to CP in respect of the uncommenced Yamoransa – Assin Prasso and Akim area roads project.

He explained further that upon the insistence of the GHA, an agreement was reached that the padded rates should be unloaded from the contract price.

Interestingly, in 2001 it was found out that some payments had been effected to CP on the BTRP based on what Ghana government suspected were fraudulently padded rates.

Accordingly, in mid 2001 government suspended payments for works done under the BTRP contract. It was on the basis of this that government was sued by CP in 2002.

Meanwhile, it also came out that CP owed the Government of Ghana to the tune of €145 million and GH? 5.2 million in tax liabilities at the time the nation entered into agreement to pay the company €94 million as settlement payments.

“Aside all these facts there are unresolved cases that are pending in the High and Appeals Courts in Ghana and other courts in UK and the USA, so it beats our imagination that the NDC government could not wait for those cases to be resolved before rushing to make this gargantuan payment,” he added.

Source: Scholastica Nyarko/thestatesmanonline.com



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