By Maxwell Nkansah
The Minority in Parliament has accused the government of inflating the cost of the construction of a twin tower office complex for the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company (BOST) from $39 million to $78 million.
Addressing the media in Parliament, the Minority spokesperson on Mines and Energy, John Jinapor, called on President Akufo-Addo to surprise the nation for the first time by commissioning an independent probe into the matter.
According to him, the project, which started under the leadership of Awuah Darko, was supposed to cost $39 million but has now been inflated to $78 million with only one tower costing $39 million.
“We have, however, noted from recent developments based on documents available to us that the original contract, which was valued at $39,000,000.00 (Thirty-Nine Million Dollars), ballooned to a whopping $78,000,000.00 if the two-tower building is accounted for based on the current cost of the single unit valued at $39,000,000.00 (Thirty-Nine Million Dollars).
“This means the building has been inflated by 100% over the original contract,” Mr. Jinapor disclosed.
Find below details of the presser:
28th July, 2022
A Fresh Scandal at BOST.
Ladies and gentlemen of the press, permit me to use this opportunity to thank you for honouring this invitation.
We have invited you today once again to very serious and grave issues of national interest emanating from Ghana’s energy sector under the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia Government.
Ladies and gentlemen of the press, you may be aware that the Bulk Oil and Transportation Company (BOST) under the able leadership of Mr. Kwame Awuah Darko commenced the process of constructing an ultra-modern twin tower office in the year 2015 to serve as office accommodation and to enhance internally generated funds to augment the cash flow of the BOST.
However, the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia newly constituted management of BOST that assumed office falsely accused Mr. Awuah Darko of inflating and padding the contract and, as a result, suspended the project.
Characteristic of the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government, Mr. Awuah Darko and several government appointees of the erstwhile Mahama administration were subjected to thorough and detailed investigations by the Economic and Organized Crime Unit (EOCO), which of course is nothing but witch-hunting and whitewashing.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is worthy of mention that not only was Mr. Awuah Darko exonerated of any wrongdoing by the EOCO investigations, but it was also established that the contract met all the necessary ingredients of value for money.
We have, however, noted from recent developments based on documents available to us that the original contract, which was valued at $39,000,000.00 (Thirty-Nine Million Dollars), ballooned to a whopping $78,000,000.00, if the two-tower building is accounted for based on the current cost of the single unit valued at $39,000,000.00 (Thirty-Nine Million Dollars). This means the building has been inflated by 100% over the original contract.
We say so because we have noted that the current management of BOST decided to acquire only one of the twin unit buildings due to the precarious financial position of the company. However, it applied to the Public Procurement Authority for approval to vary the original contract for the single unit from the original price of $19,500,000.00 per unit to a new cost of $24,000,000.00.
Members of the press, fellow Ghanaians, to our utmost shock and dismay, but because as usual of this government, the PPA, without any reasonable justification in granting the approval, hiked the contract sum to an inflated figure of $39,000,000.00 (Thirty-Nine Million United States Dollars) for a single unit when BOST could have originally constructed the twin-tower office at the original price of $39,000,000.00.
We are firm in our conviction that this is a classic case of causing financial loss to the state. This is another PDS, American and Movinpinna scandal in the making. The energy sector under the current NPP administration has become a pollution haven for regularized corruption, inflated favoritism, and rusted nepotism.
It’s perplexing how a twin-tower office complex, originally awarded at a cost of $39,000,000.00, has now grown to a colossal figure of $78,000,000.00 based on the current cost of a single unit.Why would the PPA vary the request for approval from BOST for the purchase of the single-unit building from $24,000,000.00 to an inflated figure of $39,000,000.00? Who are the people behind this outrageous deal?
From the foregoing, it is obvious some officials are culpable and neck deep in this huge scandal. We do not have any confidence in the Akufo-Addo-led government as far as resolving this conundrum is concerned. Officialdom has demonstrated a lack of professionalism and competence in this whole debacle, as BOST has been converted into one of the milking cows.
For the first time, we hope that the President will gather the courage to order an independent investigation into this scandal, which is of monumental proportion, and punish his officials whose negligence, recklessness, and complicity have led us into this huge mess.
We, the Minority in Parliament, hereby serve notice that anything short of an independent investigation shall be rejected and denounced by the NDC and the good people of Ghana. We shall remain vigilant and resolute in our quest to ensure that the continuous looting and plundering of the resources of BOST, which is our collective strategic national asset, is brought to an immediate halt.
The Hon. John Abdulai Jinapor (MP)
Mines and Energy Committee Ranking Member