Akufo-Addo erred on Ridge Hospital cost – Kwaku Baako

Editor-In-Chief of the New Crusading Guide newspaper, Abdul Malik Kwaku Baako, has said the flagbearer of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), “got it wrong” when he referred to the over-rated cost of the Ridge Hospital in his ‘Real State of the Nation Address.’

According to Mr. Baako, Nana Akufo-Addo should have checked his facts before making the cost of Ridge Hospital public, especially when IMANI Ghana has published their research stating the issue of overpricing was above board.

On March 1, the General Secretary of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketia, said at a news conference that, “We note that Nana Akufo-Addo also repeated his party’s lies about the Ridge Project. He claimed that the Ridge Hospital has been inflated by US$142 million and the basis for this is a supposed Crown Agent report.”

“What he showed was a shocking lack of thoroughness and attention to detail. If he had applied himself to a diligent search for information he would have been aware that the Crown Agent report he relied on has long since been repudiated following incontrovertible proof offered by the Ministry of Health and the contractor to the effect that the initial claims were unfounded,” the General Secretary said.

However, Kwaku Baako said the NDC chief Scribe employed distortion in his reference to Nana Akufo-Addo about the matter.

“Nobody fabricated a $142 million anywhere. It was a genuine calculation made by the Crown Agent suggesting that they thought that figure should be removed from the total contract price,” he said.

Speaking on Joy FM and MultiTv’s news analysis programme, Newsfile, Mr. Baako said the report by Crown Agent Ghana Limited (CAGL) – the company contracted to conduct the Value for Money (VFM) Assessment, issued on September 15, 2013, raised the issue of an over pricing by US$142 million and not any other individual.

“It is recommended that the total contract price for the Ridge Hospital project should be reduced by $142 million to a total contract price for the whole of the works of $162 million dollars. Based on this recommendation, it is further recommended that the two faces should be constructed concurrently as a single construction project under the current loan facility.

This facility should be reduced to match the recommended total contract price,” he quoted from the report.

Mr. Baako said it was unnecessary for Mr. Nketia to have responded to Akufo-Addo’s comment if it were not for propaganda purposes, especially when he is aware of the reports by Crown Agent Ghana Limited.

Responding to the claim that Akufo-Addo will harm his presidential bid by his comment, Mr. Baako said this would be unlikely unless the NPP leadership failed to manage such incidences in the future.

“I am resisting the temptation to give examples of opposition flagbearers who committed similar gaps but got voted into office”, he said.

He said there are many of such people who peddled “obvious untruth”, yet went ahead to become leaders of the country.

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