‘Probe Cost Of Chinese Chairs’

Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Old Tafo, Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei, yesterday made a passionate appeal to the Speaker to let parliament thoroughly discuss the refurbishment of the chamber and the cost involved.

The NPP MP, who is also the ranking member of the Finance Committee of Parliament, said he was in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region at the weekend when he heard about the release of the overall contract sum after which members of the public started making all kinds of allusions.

He indicated that when he returned to Accra to attend yesterday’s sitting, people were discussing the matter.

“Mr. Speaker, I want to plead with you to create space for parliament to discuss this matter and other consequential matters,” Dr. Akoto Osei said on the floor of parliament yesterday.

Dr. Akoto Osei told the DAILY GUIDE that he was compelled to make the plea to the speaker because as an MP, it was the first time he was seeing the details of the contract sum; and as far as he was concerned, many other MPs might also be seeing the figure for the first time. He said it was therefore important for MPs, as representatives of the people, to be given the opportunity to discuss the matter on the floor of the House.

The speaker, Edward Doe Adjaho, said Dr Osei Akoto’s plea would be referred to the leadership of parliament for consideration and appropriate response.

The contract sum, which had been concealed from the public and had therefore generated a lot of debate and controversy, was finally made known in a form of advertisement in two state-owned dailies.

According to the announcement, the contract was originally awarded on July 26, 2013 at the cost of GH¢8,704,325 but suddenly ballooned to GH¢21,950,855 on August 14, 2014 at the time the project was being executed.

The review of the contract sum has raised a lot of eyebrows; and people have started reading a lot of meanings into it.

Meanwhile, the leadership of parliament was scheduled to have addressed the parliamentary press corps on matters arising out of the contract and the contract sum yesterday, but the meeting had to be cancelled and the director in-charge of the Table Office, Ebenezer Djietror, explained that even though the leadership had sanctioned the encounter, the consultants for the project who were supposed to be part of the media encounter were not immediately available.

“Ladies and gentlemen of the press, we had scheduled to meet you this afternoon but we have to postpone it because the consultants who are supposed to be part of the encounter are all not present,” he announced.

He told the press corps that the encounter was very necessary, regarding the cost of the reconfiguration and refurbishment of the chamber and other matters arising, but unfortunately, the consultants had to attend to other matters out of Accra.

He assured that the media encounter would take place today.

BY Thomas Fosu Jnr

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