Outgoing British High Commissioner to Ghana, Jon Benjamin, wants Ghana to pay the British construction firm International Hospital Group every single pound sterling being claimed by the firm even though investigations conducted by an independent international body has established that the claims being made by IHG were improper.
A thorough independent investigation carried out at the request of the government of Ghana by the internationally acclaimed PricewaterhouseCoopers uncovered evidence that point to collusion between the contractor and the government of Ghana’s engineer who was supposed to be looking out for the interest of Ghana.
The evidence uncovered by the PricewaterhouseCoopers investigations include payments and hospitality improperly provided by IHG and related parties to Ghana government’s engineer, which appear to have prejudiced the rights of Ghana under the contract, resulting in changes and delays to the Project that should never have happened.
The government of Ghana engineer who was supposed to be looking out for the interest of Ghana was found by PricewaterhouseCoopers to have improperly received monetary payments and benefited from hospitality provided by the International Hospital Group.
Government found this unacceptable and refused to honour the payments certified by the engineer, nut Jon Benjamin holds the view that irrespective of what he describes as “external factors”, government of Ghana has to pay up.
The Police Hospital project contract was awarded to IHG way back in the year 2003 at an initial cost of seventeen million pounds (£17,000.000.00) and was expected to have come to completion in three years (3yrs). However, as at 2015 the work on the project had not moved beyond thirty per cent (30%) even though the company had received payment far in excess of the initial contract price.
Although in the year 2012, the Ghanaian Parliament approved a loan from HSBC to fund the project and also reviewed the contract price. Parliament capped the cost of the project by approving a Parliamentary memo on the project which read, “the last review contract price is to be pegged at £40,125,714.00 and should remain so for the duration of the project”.
This notwithstanding, as at 2015, the HSBC loan was exhausted with the project nowhere near completion yet IHG kept putting in claims for further amounts to be paid, claims which Jon Benjamin supports contrary to the decision by the Parliament of Ghana.
Indeed, available records show that as at 2015, IHG had received payments of over fifty million pounds (£50,000.000.00). Almost three times the original contract price and almost ten million pounds (£10,000.000.00) more than what the Ghanaian Parliament approved in the year 2012.
In the year 2014, IHG made a case that it had reviewed the contract price once again and that the new contract price has jumped to one hundred and seven million pounds (£107,000.000.00)!!!
The administration of John Mahama refused to budge and rather instituted an investigation into the whole IHG-Police Hospital project saga. However, Jon Benjamin believes that the Government of Ghana cannot refuse to pay IHG the new hugely bloated cost.
Watch out for part three.