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General News of Thursday, 18 April 2019


Work on controversial Veep residence suspended for years

Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia

Work on the official residence of the Vice President has stalled awaiting a decision from government, according to project consultants AESL.

Appearing before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Wednesday, April 17, the Managing Director of Architectural and Engineering Services Limited (AESL), Robert Abugre, revealed that his firm has not been paid since it was contracted by government through the National Security to consult for the project.

“From the government side, it was like the contractor was owed money and questions were raised in connection with the project in its totality,” Mr Abugre said.

The project, which began in 2014, was halted after its cost was said to have been reviewed upward by AESL.

Sources say the original cost of $3.56 million was reviewed to $15.7 million in January, 2016 though finally reviewed downward to $13.9 million in February, 2016.

The issue on cost reared its head a few weeks after the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government took office in 2017.

Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia accused the erstwhile Mahama-led government of blowing $14 million on the project.

This was denied by the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

Mr Abugre said: “As at now, it still remains suspended and no work is going on now.”

“We are probably waiting for government to take a decision as to the final use that the project is going to be put to.”

Chairman of PAC James Klutse Avedzi, who is also Member of Parliament for Ketu North Constituency, asked AESL for advice to government over the project.

Revealing that his firm visits the project at Cantonments to check on its state, Mr Abugre said he will advise government to reconsider its position on the project.

“Because it is a state asset now even though it is not completed.”

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