THE TEMA Metropolitan Assembly (TMA) is threatening to abrogate a contract with Lona Contract Works Limited for the construction of a new mortuary at the Tema General Hospital. This is because the contractor has abandoned the project, and is refusing to respond to correspondences from the assembly to address the current position of the job.
Lona Contract Works Limited was awarded the contract in the middle of 2012, with a promise that it was going to be commissioned in December the same year, but till date, there is no sign of the mortuary nearing completion. The job comprises of structural block works and installation of electricity and water. The award of the contract to Lona Contract Works, which had never put up a mortuary before, did not go down well with persons in the engineering industry.
Bartco Engineering Services Limited, with a track record of installations at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital Medical School, executive/normal – 350 bodied capacity, KNUST – 300, Volta Regional Hospital, Ho – 400, Hohoe – 350, Peki – 200, among others, was contacted by the TMA to possibly execute the job. This was when the media started reporting that the Tema General Hospital was in a deplorable state to the extent that mice and rats were feeding on dead bodies.
The engineering company, per discussions with the TMA, provided a design of new mortuary to accommodate 1,000 bodies, with an estimated cost of GH˘540,000. The project would have also included a theatre and lecture hall for medical students.
Engineers of the TMA, on receiving the drawing, made a few modifications, and even though Lona Contract Works emerged at the eleventh hour, it was awarded the contract with an estimated cost of GH˘800,000 to construct the mortuary with a capacity to accommodate 500 bodies.
Then Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, who cut the sod for the start of the project, pledged an extra GH˘100,000 to the contract sum to bring it to GH˘900,000. He has, however, redeemed his promise partly by paying GH˘50,000. But, 24 months after the sod cutting ceremony, one can only see a high rising structure of block work in the bush, a manifestation that the project had been abandoned. When The Chronicle contacted the Director of Lona Contract Works, Madam Comfort Nyadoh, on the threat by the TMA, she only said the assembly could go ahead with its action.
The Metropolitan Engineer at the TMA, Mr. Emmanuel Badoe, when contacted, regretted the development, and said the contractor was refusing to respond to letters from the assembly. According to him, the management had decided that if by Thursday (tomorrow) nothing is heard from her, the assembly would be compelled to abrogate the contract. According to the engineer, the assembly does not owe the contractor any money, because certificates were issued and payments made for every stage of the job executed.
According to him, Lona Contract Works was to embark on the construction of the structure, but abandoned the project without roofing, plastering, tiling, and the provision of electricity and water. He said the Ministry of Health was responsible for the provision and installation of the machinery, but cannot do it, because the project had been abandoned. Mr. Badoe stated that the money provided by Mr. Ofosu Ampofo was used for the installation of 10 light poles, cables, and fittings to illuminate the place for the contractor to work day and night.
Source: The Chronicle
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