Probe $14m Veep House-Surveyors

The $14m Vice Presidents’ Mansion

The furore over the $14 million new official residence for vice presidents is not yet over as the Ghana Institute of Surveyors (GhIS) has joined the fray over the cost of the yet-to-be-completed facility.

The Quantity Surveying Division of the GhIS is calling for an independent enquiry into the $14 million (GH¢60 million) mansion, which is located at Cantonments, Accra, for appropriate costing.

The association said it would follow the issue to its logical conclusion in view of the ethical issues raised.

It has therefore appealed to Ghanaians to remain calm to allow for investigations to be conducted into the ‘true’ cost of the building.

A statement signed by Emmanuel Tetteh Martey, president of GhIS, indicated, “Consequently, the Ghana Institute of Surveyors is calling for an independent enquiry into the matter. GhIS is ready to assist any entity so appointed with expertise to objectively appraise the project.

“Alternatively, the government can mandate the Ghana Institute of Surveyors to do a Procurement and or Technical audit of the project and advise.

“We note that the general public cannot be faulted for raising issues about the construction cost and other related matters as regards the proposed Residential Building for the Vice President of Ghana.”

It underscored, “However, we request for justice and moderation, since at this stage the information available is inadequate for a thorough professional interrogation, thus leading to the wild speculations.”

Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia had put out $14 million as the cost of the building, but the immediate-past National Democratic Congress (NDC) has expressed concern about the amount, quoting conflicting figures and thereby making the transaction murkier.

So far, the contractor for the project, Consar Ghana Limited, has sided with Vice President Bawumia, saying that the contract was over $13.9 million and that the project had stalled because of non-payment of certificates raised.

According to the surveyors, “GhIS holds the view that the general perception of the citizenry is that costs for public sector projects are most of the time inflated, hence the negative responses and public outcry anytime projects of such magnitude are put in the public domain.

“As a professional body with expertise in the field, we entreat all to address their minds to the fact that issues involving project development are very technical and complex and need to be explained for an effective buy – by stakeholders.”

Shocking Details

The controversy about the project was generated following the revelations that some of the costs in the contract document raise eyebrows.

The Architectural and Engineering Services Limited (AESL), the consultants for the project, also quoted $13.9 million as contract sum – about $1 million earmarked for air conditioning.

Second Lady’s Office

For instance, the contract amount of the office of the second lady alone is $590,357.54 and the actual cost is now $716,901.04, while demolition works alone cost $100,000.

The contract amount for the basement stands at $221,861.42; the ground floor is $2,367,655.57 while the first floor of the building alone costs $1,402,875.35.

The second floor is costing $167,282.45; lift shaft, $101,810.40; staircase alone is costing $12,109.10 while fence wall and gate houses cost $471,528.27.

Outhouse Cost

The outhouse costs $422.908.19; lounge, $160,263.36 and sundries are stated as $60,500.

In the document, the provisional sums were given as electrical installations, $2.9 million while air conditioning and other mechanical installations pegged at $1 million as contract amount.

Swimming Pool

The swimming pool is costing $124,957.10 with lift installations costing $200,000 while soft furnishings take $440,000.

For road ad pavements the government is spending $330,000, and for balustrades it is spending $55,000 while horticulture works alone cost $137,082.

The variations, ordered as at the compilation of the report, cost $778,001.25, external electrification works, $77,371.76; sculpture and emblems, $25,566.54; stone facing works, $55,300; hard wood panel doors, $88,157.36 and other anticipated variations pegged at $400,000.

As it is, the total estimated cost of works stood at $13,015,126.88 (contract amount) and $13.968,252.66 as the actual amount.

The report said the amount certified for payment is $8,179,138.95 with $5,789,113.71 as the value for outstanding works.

BY Melvin Tarlue

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