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16.07.2002 General News

Veep uses influence to withdrawal contract

By The Chronicle.
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The award of a contract for the construction of about 14 boreholes in the Ahafo Ano North District (AANDA) of the Ashanti Region is in dispute, following the withdrawal of the contract from a contractor at the 11th hour.

Barely 25 hours after the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) had recommended that the said contract be awarded to Messrs Prefos Ltd, a Kumasi-based firm, CWSA turned round and withdrew the contract.

On 27 June this year, the engineer, Mr Owusu Konadu, signing for the Regional Director, informed the AANDA that the agency had no objection to the assembly’s recommended action for the award of the contract to Messrs Prefos Ltd., having completed a review of the Bid Evaluation Report submitted to CWSA a week earlier on 18 June.

The construction of 14 boreholes at a contract sum of ¢445,914,225 was expected to be completed within four months. The next day (28 June), however, the Regional Director, Mr Mike Adjei, recommended the disqualification of the said contractor’s bid. Director Adjei claimed some declarations in Prefos’ bid were false and that they had received the information rather too late hence the withdrawal of the contract. The contract is to be put on fresh tender.

Even though the Evaluation Bid was jointly done by the District Assembly and the consultant and duly reviewed by CWSA, Adjei claimed that all other bids had failed to meet qualification requirements. Adjei said CWSA only acted the way it did to ensure best practices and that out of the 10 districts only five have got their bids successfully evaluated.

Tenders would have to be advertised in the other five districts, including AANDA, all over the world. “There is no foul play in the award of contract under the programme,” he assured.

But Mr Alexie Kwasi Fosu, Managing Director of Prefos Ltd., says there is more to the withdrawal of the contract and his disqualification. According to him, CWSA is being unfair to him and that the agency’s stand is another way of ensuring that the contract goes to a former Kotoko star, Ibrahim Sunday’s company, following alleged promptings of an Accra based consultant, one Farouk by the Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama.

Fosu claims he had been informed by AANDA sources that “they were under pressure from above” to withdraw the contract. According to Fosu’s sources, Sunday had presented a note from the Veep purported to have requested that the said contract be given to him (Sunday) for execution.

The Prefos’ boss had indicated that he would reapply for the contract because he won the contract on merit with proper documentation. It was gathered that Prefos was the highest bidder at ¢29 million per borehole against ¢18 million by Ibrahim Sunday. Five contractors bid for the contract. Meanwhile, Chronicle sources at AANDA have expressed indignation at the turn of events.

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