The Bureau of National Investigation (BNI) has mounted a search for the proprietor of M/E Ellokol Limited for allegedly abandoning a bungalow project located at Government Hill, a suburb of Obuasi in the Ashanti Region.
Mr Richard Ofori-Agyemang, Obuasi Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), told the Ghana News Agency that the contractor had absconded after he received GH₡ 285,583.16 as part of the contract sum.
“Our efforts to get this contractor have not been successful and I have reported him to the security agencies. I have reported him to the BNI for them to look for him,” he said.
According to the Assembly, the Public Works Department, which is the consultant, has written series of letters to the contractor but the letters keep bouncing back, giving an indication of a wrong address.
The bungalow, which the Chief Executive described as over ambitious, is expected to have a guest house attached to host government officials and other dignitaries on national assignments to the area.
Mr Boadi said the move would significantly cut down cost and ease the pressure on the Assembly’s dwindling finances.
But, an Estate Developer, Mr Frank Aboagye Banyansah has accused the Assembly for bloating the projects figures.
He said the Assembly had been budgeting for completed projects and deliberately delay projects to cash in on them.
He cited the bungalow and other projects in the Assembly’s 2015 fiscal year budget as “fictitious” and called on the Ministry of Finance to reject it.
He said the projects and their corresponding amounts were “unrealistic” and faulted officials there for “trying to create, loot and share” at the expense of the taxpayer.
“It does not make sense to continue budgeting and paying every year for Municipal Chief Executive Bungalow that was started in 1997, that Bungalow never gets completed and every year they use it as money making venture,” Mr Banyansah said.
However, the Assembly has debunked the accusation, arguing that the budget went through due process – approved by the general assembly and scrutinised by the regional coordinating council before it was submitted to the Ministry of Finance.
The Assembly has, however, dismissed the claim and said it complied with the procedure for preparing composite budgetary.
Mr Isaac Appiah Nsiah, the Municipal Budget Officer said the budget was within the Ministry of Finance guidelines but noted that the commencement date of the MCE’s Bungalow quoted as 1997 was a mistake.
He said it was instead started in 2007 by the erstwhile New Patriotic Party government.
He said the anomaly has since been rectified, adding that what mattered most was the actual monies involved and commitment of the assembly to execute the projects it has budgeted for.
In the 90-page budget dated March 19, the assembly is requesting GH₵ 280,000 to complete the bungalow, under the project and contract name M/E Ellokol Limited.
The bungalow is roofed and plastered but the budget officer said the contract has to be terminated and re-awarded.
The contract sum is GH₵ 615,583.16 while the outstanding amount is GH₵ 330,000 but the contractor after receiving a portion of the money failed to continue the work, leaving the edifice overgrown with weeds.