Hon Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, the Minister of Health, has revealed that the Finance Ministry has secured €50 million in funding for the reconstruction of the La General Hospital.
The hospital was demolished in 2020 due to structural defects, but work on the reconstruction project is yet to begin.
Mr. Agyemang-Manu who briefed Parliament on Tuesday, November 14 said the government has identified an alternative source of funding for the project.
According to him, the Minister of Finance has now identified funds locally to continue the project with the same work scope but a reviewed price of €50 million.
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He indicated that processes were underway to ensure payment of the contractor and that work would soon commence in earnest.
The Minister of Health argued the period of the long delay after the demolition of the Hospital was due to the COVID pandemic, which affected China more than any country in the world.
The redevelopment project was supposed to be financed by a credit facility from Standard Chartered Bank of the United Kingdom, with an export credit guarantee from Sinosure of the People’s Republic of China, to the tune of €68 million, with an insurance cover of three million, eight hundred and sixty thousand euros (€3,860,349.18).
“For nearly one and a half years, Sinosure was not working so how could we go to them to sign and issue insurance for the budget to be advanced to the contractor,” he queried.
Mr. Agyeman-Manu stated government never planned to deceive anyone and that the demolition of the La Hospital was a necessary action to save lives.
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Member of Parliament for Tamale South, Haruna Iddrisu, commenting on the statement stressed government cannot justify the action of demolition of a hospital for three years.
The Minister, he said, owes the people of La an apology and not a statement on the floor of Parliament.
Speaking on the new cost of the project, the former Majority leader argued the Minister does have the power to vary the cost when Parliament approved €68 million.
He charged the Minister to go to parliament for the lawful appropriation to complete the hospital.
Ranking Member of the Health Committee, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, slammed the government for not being committed to the project.
He questioned how the project could be delayed for over a year because of issues with insurance coverage from Sinosure as admitted by the statement.
He dismissed the Minister’s assurance that local funding had been identified for the project and labeled it as deceptive given the track record of unfilled promises.