Delayed Payment Hinders Oil-Funded School Project
A 6-unit class room block project at the Akenten Presbyterian Primary School in the Sene West District of the Brong Ahafo Region, funded with oil revenue, has stalled for more than 6 years.
This is due to the inability of the implementing agency, the Ministry of Education, to release funds on time to facilitate the execution of the project.
This came to light when the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC), with journalists from the Institute of Financial and Economic Journalists (IFEJ), inspected some selected oil funded projects in the Brong Ahafo Region.
Mr Kofi Oporku, the Head teacher of the school, said although the class rooms have no doors and windows, the uncompleted structure served as a better place of study for the Junior High School and the primary 1-3, since there was no other place.
Mr Oporku said anytime it rained, teaching and learning halts because the roof leaks, adding that, 'because of the unavailability of the doors, animals enter the classes and defecate everywhere'.
The contract was initially awarded to Messers Bukhan Ghana Limited in December 2011, to construct a 6-unit class room block with ancillary facilities such as a library, KVIP toilet, staff common room and a head teacher's office within 5 months.
The contractor abandoned the site for more than one year, which led to the termination and subsequent re-awarding of the contract to Messers Multi Concept Services at a contract sum of GH¢297,290.
Messers Bukhan Ghana Limited however returned to site to continue the terminated contract while several calls from the Regional Educational Directorate for them to leave site proved futile.
The situation has led to the construction two different structures on the school compound - one started by the Messers Bukhan Ghana Limited and the one by Messers Multi Choice Limited - at different locations.
Information gathered from the Ministry of Education by the PIAC officials indicated that, the outstanding balance payable to Messers Multi Choice Limited was GH¢205,949, with physical progress of 35 per cent.
But in a telephone interview with PIAC officials, Mr Samuel Agbetor of Messers Multi Choice Limited said an amount GH¢189,944, representing 74 per cent of work done had been paid to him, despite the submission of 80 per cent work done.
Mr Agbetor said he was unwilling to return to work with the same agreement, if nothing was done to upwardly adjust the cost of the contract since the value of materials had appreciated.
Other glaring challenges of the school were the lack of electricity and computers to facilitate the teaching of Information Communication and Technology as well as playing materials for the pupils.