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General News of Friday, 13 July 2018


MPs divided over $4.5m consultancy fee for $150m road project

Some Members of Parliament (MPs) have raised red flags over an allocation of $4.5 million as consultancy fee for a $150 million road project.

The loan agreement which is to support the development of road infrastructure and improve road safety among others, is expected to reduce travel time on selected parts of the classified road network in the Northern part of the country.

Even though the project has been hailed due to an offshoot construction of some feeder roads which will help link agricultural value chain, MPs including first Deputy Speaker, Joe Osei Owusu want the consultancy component of the project taken out since it does not add any benefit to the project.

“Let us not agree to take a loan for the same thing which will let us bring some people here who will not add any value. I recall there was someone who came, he would come and sit in the hotel for three days and he would write a report and say, I should approve for him to go and take money. I did one, two and refused to sign the rest and he said the money was from his country. I said to hell! If it will not bring me value, I'll not approve it,” he argued.

But Chairman of the Finance Committee, Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah disagreed.

According to him “the 80 percent threshold has been crossed” for the amount of the loan that should be invested in the project in relation to the percentage for the consultancy fee.

He said: “About 89 percent of the loan is going towards infrastructure”.

For him, he finds nothing wrong with the figures quoted for the project.