– Second Part Of the Story
…Despite Hubby’s ‘Political’ Assault On Policy
Further investigation by The Republic into the Akufo-Addo government’s abuse of the Public Procurement Act to hand out a sweetheart deal to FAWCO Ltd has thrown up interesting tidbits.
The construction company, which 2nd Lady, Samira Bawumia, had handpicked to undertake the 10 billion old cedi (GHc1million) refurbishment on a bungalow for herself is relatively new in business and therefore has no rich track record.
According to the suspicious file, FAWCO Ltd, which is located at Plot No.29, Agyeman Avenue, Adenta SSNIT Flats, Accra, was incorporated in 2008, but was strangely re-registered in 2012.
By its updated registration, FAWCO Ltd is only a little over four years old and yet the 2nd Lady, Mrs. Samira Bawumia, handpicked it in a sole sourced contract to undertake refurbishment works on a bungalow allocated to her at a cost of 10billion old cedis.
The sole sourcing window that the Public Procurement Act provides to government is mainly preconditions that sole sourcing should be done in situations where the contractor companies have monopoly on skill set or construction materials. Another is the situation where the good or service contracted for is urgently required with a rich track record as compelling selling point.
The Akufo-Addo government has allocated a bungalow of Hs. No. A2, First Circular Road, Cantonments, Accra, to the wife of Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, and sole sourced FAWCO Ltd to do the refurbishment work, even though the project is not an emergency one.
The allocation of this Cantonments bungalow to Samira Bawumia is in spite of the fact that Hs. No. c39 located at Roman Ridge, which had been previously used by the former 2nd Lady, Matilda Amissah-Arthur, is available and in pristine state.
FAWCO Ltd, which has been contracted to do the refurbishment works on the bungalow, also does not have a monopoly on refurbishment skills.
As sources within the National Security observe that the allocation of the Cantonments house to Mrs. Bawumia, in spite of the availability of what Mrs. Amissah-Arthur had used, is wasteful, 10 billion old cedis of National Security funds are going into the refurbishment works on the new bungalow.
National Security sources confirm that valuation work on the bungalow had not been carried out by the Department of Public Works, as is required by law.
Experts in real estate who have spoken to The Republic also estimate that refurbishment works on the bungalow should not cost more than GHc20,000.
In addition to the obvious extravagance, the government also vandalized Procurement Laws by indulging the 2nd Lady to pick and choose the contractor of her choice for the project.
It is not clear if any of the people behind FAWCO, including Fredrick Wilson, Technical Manager of FAWCO Ltd, has any personal relations with the Vice President or his wife, but Mrs. Bawumia picked his company to do the work on the bungalow at 10 billion cedis.
The Republic’s investigation has established that FAWCO Ltd is also present in Takoradi, with the Western Regional address of the company listed as Plot No. PT 9A B4 Junction, Takoradi.
Investigation has also revealed that FAWCO owns a subsidiary called Welcraft, located at Haatso, Accra, which specializes in all types of interior partitioning, ceiling, glazing systems and renovations.
It is not clear if the refurbishment works being undertaken on the bungalow for Mrs. Bawumia are being handled by Welcraft, but National Security is forking out 10billion old cedis for the ornamentation works for the nestling pleasure of the Second Lady.
Interestingly, as his wife enjoys the indulgence of his government to pick and choose companies to handle refurbishment on her bungalow, Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, is supposed to be vehemently against sole sourcing.
From condemning the erstwhile Mahama regime for what he said was wanton abuse of sole sourcing by his predecessor government, Vice President Bawumia has carried on with his crusade even in government.
Recently, at a good corporate governance programme initiated by the Action Chapel International, in Accra, the Vice President decried sole sourcing once more, lambasting the erstwhile Mahama regime for rampantly dabbling in the act leveraging the abusive use of sole sourcing to heavily pad cost on government contracts.
“We want to ensure strict enforcement of the public procurement Act; looking at the bill as it was designed, sole sourcing was not supposed to be as rampant as we are seeing now. This will help to emphasize the issue of value for money and provision of quality goods and services,” Vice President Bawumia had said.
In that very address, which was made at the Kempinski hotel in Accra, Dr. Bawumia also cited the sole sourced contract to build a $13 million house for the Vice President by the erstwhile Mahama regime as a cardinal example of sole sourcing abuse.
That claim by Dr. Bawuimia has, of course, since been dispelled, as National Security sources have revealed that the $13.9million that Dr. Bawumia had gone to town with was only an estimate by the Architectural Engineering Services Limited, (AESL) and that the Mahama regime approved only $5million for the construction of the house.
Interestingly, the Vice President, who had the eagerness to go to town with the $13.9 million figure without crosschecking, has his government indulging his wife with the privilege to pick and choose the company that has been contracted to undertake 10 billion cedis worth of refurbishment works on a new bungalow for her nestling pleasure.