To renovate bungalows for 1st and 2nd Ladies
The Government of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has embarked on a project to upgrade bungalows for the use of the First and Second Ladies at a whopping cost to the tax payer, The Republic has picked up.
In a development that National Security sources are calling a vanity affair, Akufo-Addo is splurging a whopping GHc1million (10billion old cedis) to polish up a bungalow for the Second Lady, Samira Bawumia, while GHc500,000 (5billion old cedis) is going into the upgrade of another for the nestling pleasure of First Lady, Rebecca Akufo-Addo.
The money for the renovations at Hs No. C39, near the Ghana International School, in Cantonments, for Samira Bawumia, and Hs No. A2, 1st Circular Road, also in Cantonments, for Mrs. Akufo-Addo, is coming from the National Security establishment, The Republic can report.
These bungalows had previously been respectively used by former Second and First Ladies, Matilda Amisah-Arthur and Lordina Mahama, as offices during the Presidency of John Mahama.
Even as the vanity projects heavily milk the coffers of the National Security, sources also reveal that the award of the contracts for the renovations vandalized the Public Procurement Act as the contractor had been wholly sole-sourced.
According to sources, FAWCO Ltd, the company that did the renovation on the bungalow for Mrs. Bawumia, had been handpicked by the Second Lady herself.
The Republic has it on authority that the first certificate for the project, an amount of GHc94,000 (940million old cedis) had been paid to FAWCO in the first week of February, this year.
In the first week of March, a little over GHc100,000 (1billion old cedis) had been paid to FAWCO upon raising a certificate, while GHc75,000 had been paid to the company in response to a third certificate that it raised.
Sources confirm that so far a little over Ghc1million (10 billion old cedis) has been spent on specking up the bungalow of the Second Lady to taste.
On the part of the First Lady, Rebecca Akufo-Addo, Hs. No. A2, which the previous government had allocated to former First Lady, Lordina Mahama, for use as an office, has been polished up with GHc500,000, (500million old cedis) to make it even cozier.
It is noteworthy that while the Mahama regime was in office, these bungalows which had been allocated to the First and Second Ladies were in very good shape; in fact, in far better state than bungalows allocated to ministers.
It is also noteworthy that, the huge investment that President Akufo-Addo is making in the comforts of his wife and his Vice President’s wife is not provided for in the 1992 Constitution.
The Vice President, Mahamudu Bawumia, whose wife handpicked the contractor to renovate her bungalow, is on record to have decried sole sourcing from the rooftops when his party was in opposition.
The Akufo-Addo regime is splurging money for the nestling pleasure of his wife and his Vice’s wife when many government officials do not have accommodation.
With an already poor accommodation ratio between government actors and available lodging exacerbated by the President’s appointment of an unprecedented 110 ministers, a rat-race for a roof over the head is ongoing as a distended government struggles to jostle into place.
This being the case, the plight of operatives of the National Security is even worse, with many constrained to rent in lowbrow suburbia around the country.
The extravagance that National Security has been forced to pay for, just so the First and Second Ladies can enjoy extra comfort, is invoking a groundswell of loud murmurs, sources say.
Meanwhile, the disproportionate spending of a whopping 10billion old cedis on the renovation of the Second Lady’s bungalow, with only half of that, (500million old cedis) being spent on that of the First Lady is said to have dovetailed an ongoing competition between the First and Second Ladies.
According to information, Samira Bawumia is doing everything possible to outshine the First Lady, Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo, as the “Vanity Star” of the Akufo-Addo regime.
In this regard, she has calculatedly become more vocal, and punctuated her ladyship etiquette whenever the cameras are rolling, while her wardrobe choices have deliberately been more flamboyant than that of the First Lady.
The situation is said to be engendering a turf war between the First and Second Ladies, with the propensity to end in the embarrassment to the Akufo-Addo regime.
Some unhappy people close to the First Lady are said to have made moves to get Samira Bawumia, who has no work experience whatsoever, to tone down a bit.
Observers are worried that if the turf war is not nipped in the bud, Mrs. Bawumia could eventually force people close to the First Lady to tilt open stormy scandals from her days as a student of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA).