New Patriotic Party (NPP) MP Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh says President John Mahama cannot claim credit for all the infrastructural projects being showcased by his government. This, he said, is because funding for some of the projects was secured by the NPP government before the party lost the 2008 elections.
“These regional hospitals and district hospitals that they have done…. none of them and I repeat none of them was even the funding sought by President Mills or President Mahama” the opposition MP who is a member of the Health Committee of Parliament said.
President John Mahama’s 2016 re-election campaign is heavily hinged on the government’s record of infrastructural projects. The President has said his government’s GHC 3billion sunk in infrastructure represents ‘the most massive infrastructural development in the history of this country’.
But the Manhyia South MP is not impressed because he believes an honest account of Mahama’s achievements will prove that the NPP had a strong hand in getting the projects started.
He referenced a 2009 budget statement presented by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) after it had won the December 2008 general elections.
It showed a list of projects and funding secured under President John Agyekum Kufuor government including the 500-bed Military hospital in Kumasi in the Ashanti region, the upgrade of Tamale Teaching Hospital in the Northern region and Phase II of the Bolgatanga regional hospitals.
The budget statement presented on March 5, 2009, listed at least 79 projects and programmess with funding secured under the Kufuor government before it lost the December 2008 general elections.
The Kufuor government got a $180m credit facility from Euroget de Invest S.A on 20th November 2008 with a 3-year grace period for repayment.
Another $339m was given the NPP government in 2008 for the financing of two regional hospitals and six district hospitals with staff housing at Adenta/Madina, Twifo-Praso, Konongo-Odumase, Wenchi, Tepa, and Salaga.
A 7.5million Euro funding was also sourced for the construction of five Polyclinics.
But in the ‘Green Book’, a government publication of achievements under the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government, 295-bed Bolgatanga Regional Hospital, the Military hospital and the five polyclinics are all listed among government’s achievements.
“These unprecedented investments are not only changing lives but are also beginning to yield results as evident in the positive human development indicators currently being recorded”, a portion of the book reads.
Matthew Opoku Prempeh asked the Health Minister Alex Segbefia who was in the studio for a Health Debate on the Joy FM Super Morning Show why government could add to his achievements, projects whose funds were obtained by the NPP.
“This is the 2009 budget and they are still claiming credit when they came to meet 100% of the funding,” he said
“You have been in government two months how could you have brought even loans to parliament?” he wondered.
He said with the funding already obtained, it is disappointing that government could take years to build the facilities. “You have delayed some of these projects for nine, eight, seven years,” he criticised.
Alex Segbefia explained that all the infrastructure projects funded under Kufuor were brought together under President Mills’ administration. He said the Euro Jet hospitals are only a tranche of hospitals built under Mahama.
Under the NDC government, a $175 million contract has been awarded to a UK construction firm for the designing, constructing and equipping seven district hospitals for the Ministry of Health.
The Greater Accra Regional hospital, an important infrastructure under the Mahama government was done using two credit agreements between Government of Ghana and Export-Import Bank of United States for an amount of US$157.5m and HSBC Bank for US$92.5million.
Funding was sourced in 2012.