we have stumbled upon a piece of correspondence from Parliament and signed by its speaker Rt. Hon. Aaron Mike Oquaye to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo inviting the latter to the sod cutting ceremony of a new chamber complex for the House.
Contents of the explosive letter clearly indicate parliament had already proposed date for the sod cutting by “booking” the president, whiles the Finance Ministry has also “dutifully given budgetary allocation” for the project estimated to cost $200million.
And it appears but for the courtesy call on the Speaker of Parliament by Ghanaian architect, David Frank Adjaye, said to be the designer of the National Cathedral, during which the design for the new chamber was unveiled by Rt Hon Mike Ocquaye, the public would have been kept in the dark.
Executive Engaged? I’m Not Aware
This development is in sharp contrast to comments by the Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, that the Executive arm of government has not been engaged on plans to build a new chamber for Parliament.
“From the Executive perspective, I am not aware that the Executive has been engaged on this idea,” he is reported to have said.
The Parliamentary Service Board’s decision to construct a complex including a new 450-seater chamber has been a subject of public outrage.
Most Ghanaians are awed and enraged about the rationale behind the proposed facility, particularly when there are other more important needs of citizens; the likes of portable water, classroom blocks, employment etc.
According to them, building a parliamentary chamber in this current economic hardship state is unnecessary.
The project, expected to be funded partly by the Indian government with counterpart funding from the government of Ghana, when constructed, will consist of a 450-seater chamber, a chapel, mosque, restraint and a parliamentary museum.
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Sod-cutting Subject To Nana Addo’s Convenience
In the letter to the president titled “Proposed New Chamber Complex For Parliament of Ghana – Invitation To Sod Cutting Ceremony”, Prof. Aaron Michael Oquaye indicated that the ceremony was to be done in the last week of June 2019, “subject to Your Excellency’s convenience and confirmation.”
The president was informed that the aim of the project “is to overcome the capacity challenges with the current Chamber which is operating at its optimal seating capacity now.”
Adding that “currently, preparation of detailed designs, preparation of Bills of Quantities as well as Value for Money check arrangements are underway, to be allowed by a formal application to the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) for procurement approval for the construction phase.”
It is, however, unclear if the Office of the President had formally replied to the letter.