First Ghana Projects: MMDAs Create Mess For Gov’t

Hajia Alima Mahama

Issues surrounding the Ghana First Company Limited’s Ghana First projects are becoming interesting and murky, as attempts to discredit the company continue to fizzle out by day.

It is emerging that government, through some ministries, saw the ingenuity of the Ghana First Company Limited as regards the Ghana First projects that are going to tackle sanitation through the Clean Ghana Sanitation Project.

After falling in love with the company and its beautiful projects, the government is playing fast on the company with various contractors engaged on the projects to shred the credibility of the company and the integrity of the people behind it.

Joseph Kofi Adda

However, The Inquisitor, without any fear of contradiction, has it that two ministries gave their consent and backing to the all-important project in 2017.

The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) and the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources were deep in ensuring that various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies went into arrangements and terms for Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects.

Shockingly, after all the necessary steps had been taken and the projects are on, the ministries and various assemblies have betrayed the very company that they recommended with claims that they do not have any contract with the Ghana First Company Limited, and thus paving the way for contractors to dilly-dally with the Ghana First projects as they are going contrary to all the agreed terms and arrangements.

The MLGRD, as well as the Ministry of Sanitation, has now turned against the Ghana First Company Limited under very strange circumstances.

Funny on the part of the MMDAs, the First Ghana projects have been included in the projects listed among the government’s achievements in the first term.

It stands to reason that there are well-planned agenda to destroy the good intentions of the Ghana First Company Limited.

The Inquisitor has in its possession vault documents, including a letter dated August 9, 2017, by the MLGRD introducing the Ghana First Company Limited to various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies.

In the said letter, the MLGRD said: “Ghana First Company Limited was proposing to enter into Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement with Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) and request to engage you in a venture.”

“We do not have any objection to the request to engage the MMDAs subject to the laid down procedure for the PPP Programme. You are kindly requested to accord the company the necessary courtesies towards facilitating the venture ship. Please do not hesitate to contact the Chief Director of this Ministry for clarification or direction,” the MLGRD letter stated.

That letter was signed by Mr. O.B. Amoah, Deputy Minister, for the minister

Prior to that letter, the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources had written two letters on May 29, 2019 to introduce and support the Ghana First Company Limited for the project. Both letters were signed by Mr. Joseph Kofi Adda, the sector minister.

The Letter of Support stated that “I wish to inform you that Messrs Ghana First Company Limited, a wholly Ghanaian company, specialized in constructing highly standard ultra-modern public toilet facilities in Ghana to address some of the sanitation challenges like open defecation and urination. These facilities are green energy concept with highly efficient technology-based management model.”

The letter said: “Features of these facilities include urinals, bathrooms (with shower), laundry, changing rooms using solar energy for electricity, mosquito repellent bulbs and boreholes for regular supply of water. The facilities are appropriate for Lorry stations, market places, recreational parks, beaches, along the streets, within cities and towns and along the highways connecting the cities and towns.”

“The Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources has subjected the facility to technical and financial reviews and its viability and sustainability is not in doubt. I therefore wish to recommend to you Messrs Ghana First Company Limited for any financial assistance, they may require, as financial analysis of this project seems very viable and sustainable in the short to medium term,” it said.

In the letter of introduction, Mr. Adda spoke about how the Ghana First Project has the potential of reducing open defecation and also create jobs for the country’s teeming youth.

After the niceties from the MLGRD and the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources, various MMDAs went ahead to make an undertaking and provided registered documents covering all the lands provided by the assemblies for the projects within four calendar months of that notification to the Ghana First Company Limited for onward delivery to its bankers.

Ghana First Company Limited and all MMDAs signed contracts for the construction of Clean Ghana Sanitation Facility. The signing of contracts started in 2018.

Per the contract under Clause V “the Project Partner shall ensure that the Assembly itself, agents, privies, assigns, servants, workmen whomsoever or otherwise howsoever during the tenure of any government shall not dispossess the Project Owner from its ownership and that no person and that no person at law shall take over the property comprised in the project… All related legal cost arising out of government interferences shall be borne by the Assembly.”

Clause VI of the agreement stated that “the parties herein agree to enter into this project (30) years during which period the Project Owner will continue to own ninety (90) per centum of the facility built on the land provided by the Project Partner while the Project Partner shall have ten (10) per centum equity.

Among others, the parties which are Ghana First Company Limited and MMDAs, agreed that upon expiration of the thirty years, the Project Owner (Ghana First) shall have the first option of renewal for another ten years and “where renewal is denied, ownership of the project is transferred from the Project Owner (Ghana First) to the Project Partner (Assembly).

There have been discourses on the Ghana First Project with accusations and counter-accusations from contractors and various assemblies.

Ghana First Company Limited has remained resolute, although there are serious moves to bastardize the Clean Ghana Sanitation Project.

More Soon!