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General News of Saturday, 20 July 2019

Source: citinewsroom.com

‘Awarding Marine Drive project to Adjaye unfortunate’ – Ex-Tourism Minister

A former Minister for Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Elizabeth Ofosu-Agyare has raised red flag over the award of the Marine Drive project to British-based architect of Ghanaian descent, Sir David Adjaye and his firm, Adjaye and Associates.

The former Minister said the 1.2 billion dollar contract was first awarded to a local architecture firm, The Consortium in 2016, but was later re-awarded to Adjaye and Associates in a suspicious manner.

Mr Adjaye has recently courted controversy as it is alleged that he had been given 12 government contracts and that he was limiting the opportunities for local architects to gain the experience and business that would come with designing these structures.

The former Minister said the recently commenced Marine Drive project had been awarded to the Consortium architectural firm and that she was surprised to find that the contract had been subsequently awarded to Sir David Adjaye.

She, therefore, asked government to come clean on how the contract was awarded to the foreign firm.

“I don’t know what process Sir Adjaye went through to get that contract, but I know Consortium went through the competitive bidding process. It is unfortunate because when I was minister, we tried to empower local firms.”

The former Minister also criticized the current administration by affirming that during her tenure there was a concerted effort to encourage Ghanaian firms to utilize their services.

She concluded that regardless of one’s party affiliation it was a shame that a Ghanaian firm had been disadvantaged in favour of a foreign one.

“We are not against foreigners, but it is unfortunate that a local firm wins a contract and it is snatched away.”