Defence minister, Dominic Nitiwul
Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul

The construction of the Military Hospital at Afari in the Atwima Nwabiagya Municipality in the Ashanti Region, which started in 2008, but was stalled for a number of issues, is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul, who gave the assurance in Parliament in Accra on Tuesday, however, said the extension of electricity which is estimated to take seven months would delay its handing over until the first half of 2020. 

The Minister, appeared in the House to answer a question from Mr Emmanuel Agyei Anhwere, MP for Atwima Nwabiagya South that was seeking an answer on what had stalled the construction of the Military Hospital.

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In a background, the Minister told the House that an agreement was signed between the Government of Ghana and Messrs Euroget Da Invest SA (EDI) on August 20, 2008, for the construction of a 500-Bed Military Hospital with residential staff housing as a turnkey contract to be completed within 42 months of commencement in Sofoline, Kumasi.

It was approved by Parliament on October 29, 2008, with a credit facility acquired on November 20, 2008, for the project. The contract agreement was revised on January 13, 2010, and the project relocated to Tamale.

The project was further relocated from Tamale to Accra at 37 Military Hospital and finally moved to Afari, Nkawie in the Atwima Nwabiagya Municipality.

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“These site challenges and documentation requirements delayed the project until the commencement of construction in 2014,” the Minister said, adding that “though the contract was signed in 2008, actual construction started in 2014 with Messrs M Barbisoti and Sons (MBS) as sub-contractors and Messrs EDI as main contractors.

Mr Nitiwul said per the contract signed the project was to be completed in a period of 42 months, in July 2016, but issues of tax exemption approval prevented the Contractor EDI from procuring materials and equipment in large quantities to accelerate the project.

This slowed the work and delayed the project, he said.

The Minister informed the House that the Contractor EDI was finally granted tax exemption in 2017, after being on site for almost three years, and as a result, a new completion date was proposed for 2018.

In April 2018, the project suffered contractual disputes between the main contractor, Messrs EDI and the sub-contractors Messrs MBS and Messrs HANISA which lasted for eight months leading to the determination of the sub-contracts.

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“The case is currently in court,” the Minister said, and added that the Ministry then had to re-award the sub-contracts to new sub-contractors, Messrs African Building Partners (ABP) and Messrs Core Construction, but that took a while due to background checks that were required and completion of all necessary documentation.

The new sub-contractors, Messrs ABP and Core Construction, moved to site finally in November 2018 to commence work, which has steadily progressed to date without break.

Mr Nitiwul said, currently, civil works at the hospital site is about 90 per cent complete whilst that of housing is about 50 per cent complete. Overall civil work is about 70 per cent complete.

Source: GNA