Minority Raises Procurement Questions Over ACEC Reconstruction Plans

The minority in parliament raises questions about the planned reconstruction of the Accra International Conference Center (AICC).

The facility was built in 1991 to host the 10th Ministerial Conference of the Non-Aligned Movement.

It has since become the focal point of many national and monumental events over the past 30 years.

However, engineers deemed the installation unsuitable for use as structural flaws were discovered in recent expert assessments.

On this basis, funds have been allocated within the framework of the 2022 budget approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of 574.7 million euros, to see to the reconstruction of the building in order to avoid any imminent disaster.

The chairman of the parliamentary foreign affairs committee, Bryan Acheampong, argued that the ministry, on expert advice, had decided to rebuild the AICC at a cost of € 116,384,500 with a cedi equivalent of 814,691,500.

Meanwhile, while accepting the move in principle, the minority insist that the details of the procurement process leave a lot to be desired.

“What worries us, Mr. President, is the lack of transparency on how the plans are to rebuild a new building,” he said on Friday.

Member of the parliamentary foreign affairs committee, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, said his attention was drawn to an expenditure of 65.7 million yen made on page 273 of the fiscal and economic policy statement for fiscal year 2021 .

He further explained that the committee had been informed that the project would be carried out under a public-private partnership agreement, a directive which he said has now been reused under a non-concessional loan according to their investigation.

“A non-concessional loan cannot be a PPP deal,” he insisted, wondering what caused this disparity.

In response to this, Foreign Minister Ayorkor Botchwey said it was too early to make such claims.

However, she assured the House that all procurement processes surrounding the agreement had gone through the Public Procurement Authority and would be submitted to the House for further deliberation prior to execution.

“I want to assure this house that a value-for-money audit will be carried out,” she told the House.

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