Government is crying over cash crunch, an amount of GH¢218, 565.50 (¢2.2 billion) is being used to furnish the Presidential residency at the Flagstaff House for the lavish use of President John Dramani Mahama.
This excludes other renovation and furnishings which were made at the presidential villa before President Mahama moved in to stay there.
The opulent lifestyle of the president is said to be legendary, making nonsense of austerity measures declared by the government.
The staggering amount is setting tongues wagging even among staff at the presidency, who are questioning the rationale for the lavish spending.
The contract has been awarded to Messrs Ebby May Soft Furnishing under sole sourcing, thereby raising questions as to why such a major contract would not be made an open tender as required by law.
Most contracts under the Mahama presidency are sole sourced denying the country value for money. All these are happening at the time the Mahama administration claims it is waging a battle against corruption.
Documents in the possession of DAILY GUIDE indicate that on March 22, 2013, an application was put in by the Office of the President for the Public Procurement Authority to engage in the sole sourcing method of procurement in which it was seeking approval of the Board to sole source the company for the procurement of soft furnishing materials.
The decision to sole source, they said, was informed by “the security considerations and their ability (referring to Ebby May) to complete the works within the shortest possible time.”
The contract involved furnishings at residency including the down stairs corridors which is costing the tax payer an amount of GH¢67, 220.00, GH¢1,669.00 for coffee room curtains, voile and trimming, GH¢5995.00 for reception curtains, voile and trimmings, GH¢6,455.00 for the main living room voile and trimmings, GH¢2,261.00 for bar voile and trimmings and GH¢9,755.00 for the dining area.
The rest include an amount of GH¢2,461.00 for a recreational room- formal coffee room, GH¢171.00 for an informal kitchen – Venetian blinds only, GH¢2,850.00 for gym remote control blinds, GH¢3, 604.00 for a family dining room, GH¢1,925.00 for the main kitchen, GH¢8,380.00 for the meeting area and GH¢3, 243.00 for the waiting reception/visitors lounge.
Others include an amount of GH¢5,940.00 for a playroom and lobby, GH¢31,270.00 for the upstairs corridors, GH¢7,212.00 for what was described as ‘Madam’s room and library’, GH¢7,212.00 two master bedrooms and libraries, GH¢11,540.00 for the private lounge suites and GH¢4,562.00 for a supposed ‘prayer room’.
An amount of GH¢11, 900.50 is also to be used to furnish four family bedrooms while an amount of GH¢1,323.00 is scheduled to be used to furnish two VIP bedrooms at the President’s residence, not to talk about GH¢2,156.00 for the VIP lounge, GH¢1,323.00 for two security rooms, and GH¢1,568.00 for the two guest rooms downstairs the Presidential villa.
An amount of GH¢15,750.00 is earmarked for workmanship, delivery and installation by the company contracted for the job.
Somewhere last year, it emerged that the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) spent an amount of GH¢121, 443.71 since taking office in 2009 on renovation works at the Flagstaff House despite the late President Mills’s refusal to live or work from the plush edifice constructed by the previous Kufuor-led NPP administration.
This included an amount of GH¢48,956.99 supposedly spent on ‘fumigation of the entire edifice’.
The rest involved an amount of GH¢41,554.57 on maintenance and repair of the central air-condition systems (water-cooled chillers), GH¢26,291.15 for maintenance and servicing of generators and what was described as ‘minor renovation works on electrical fittings’ and GH¢ 4,641.00 for the supply and installation of air-conditioners and re-routing of server lines.