Politics Uncategorized

GNPC Foundation Exposes NDC MP’s Cost of Astroturf Construction Propaganda

Officials of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) Foundation, have clarified reasons for the variations in the cost of construction of its Astroturf facilities across the country, following a social media post by minority Member of Parliament (MP) for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa suggesting malfeasance.

According to management, the opposition MP’s interpretation of the reported figure of GH319,813.00 captured in the 2021 Annual Report of the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) being the unit cost of each Astroturf is “factually inaccurate and misleading”.

The NDC MP in a post on his Facebook last Tuesday claimed that the figures submitted to Parliament by the Ministry of Energy are significantly higher than the ones quoted in the PIAC report.

He noted that whereas the Energy Ministry’s report mentions GH¢40.7million as the total cost of 30 astroturfs, the PIAC reports quote GH¢8,188,000.35.

But in a sharp rebuttal, a statement issued by Media & Communications Unit of GNPC Foundation explained that, “the figure as contained in the 2021 PIAC Report represents how much had been expended on each project as at the reporting time rather than the total cost per Astroturf facility.

Indeed, this figure only represents 20% of the total contract sum of GHS1,599,065.00 per facility in 2019-2020. Thus, the GH319,813.00 quoted in the PIAC report represents progress payment based on milestones”.

The Foundation noted that, “At the outset of the project in 2018, the cost of construction of each Astroturf was pegged at $250,000 (GHS997,337.00).

In 2019 and 2020, the cost of each facility increased to $300,000 (GHS1,599, 065.00) as accurately stated by the Minister of Energy, Honourable Matthew Opoku Prempeh, in his response to Parliament on July 5th, 2022. Currently, the cost per Astroturf facility stands at $350,000 (GHS2,366,666.68) with the incremental costs attributed to rising cost in construction”.

According to the statement, “The figure as contained in the 2021 PIAC Report represents how much had been expended on each project as at the reporting time rather than the total cost per Astroturf facility. Indeed, this figure only represents 20% of the total contract sum of GHS1,599,065.00 per facility in 2019-2020. Thus, the GH319,813.00 quoted in the PIAC report represents progress payment based on milestones”.

Below Is Published The Full Statement:

PRESS RELEASE MISREPRESNTATION OF FACTS ON THE COST OF GNPC FOUNDATION’S ASTROTURF PROJECTS BY HON. OKUDZETO ABLAKWA

The attention of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) Foundation has been drawn to a social media post by the Member of Parliament for North Tongu Constituency, Honourable Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, receiving widespread attention alleging malfeasance in the cost of construction of Astroturf facilities across the country as captured under Appendix D of the 2021 Annual Report of the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) which relates to GNPC Foundation Projects Expenditure submitted to Parliament in fulfillment of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act, 2011 (Act 815), as amended by Act 893.

Honourable Okudzeto, among other things, alluded to “disparities and grave inconsistencies” in the unit cost of the Astroturf facilities funded by GNPC through its Corporate Social Investment arm, the GNPC Foundation.

The Foundation wishes to set the records straight and to assure the public of its commitment to impacting positively on people and communities within GNPC’s production enclave and across the country through the implementation of social impact programmes and projects.

THE FACTS

The GNPC Foundation’s Sports Infrastructure Project began in 2018 with the aim to improve the standards of sports infrastructure in local communities to harness sporting talents of which football remains a critical agent.

The Astroturf project seeks to help hone existing football and sporting talents across the country. GNPC funded Astroturf facilities are constructed with FIFA quality approved materials and are set to FIFA specifications with pitch dimensions of 96×66 meters.

Each facility is equipped with wire fencing and flood lights. At the outset of the project in 2018, the cost of construction of each Astroturf was pegged at $250,000 (GHS997,337.00). In 2019 and 2020, the cost of each facility increased to $300,000 (GHS1,599, 065.00) as accurately stated by the Minister of Energy, Honourable Matthew Opoku Prempeh, in his response to Parliament on July 5th, 2022. Currently, the cost per Astroturf facility stands at $350,000 (GHS2,366,666.68) with the incremental costs attributed to rising cost in construction.

Honourable Okudzeto’s interpretation of the reported figure of GHS319,813.00 as the unit cost of each Astroturf is factually inaccurate and misleading.

The figure as contained in the 2021 PIAC Report represents how much had been expended on each project as at the reporting time rather than the total cost per Astroturf facility. Indeed, this figure only represents 20% of the total contract sum of GHS1,599,065.00 per facility in 2019-2020. Thus, the GH319,813.00 quoted in the PIAC report represents progress payment based on milestones.

The GNPC Foundation is funding a total of 32 Astroturf facilities across the country at various stages of completion from 2018 with varying costs ranging from 997,337.00 – 2,366,666,68.00 as stated above. From the details shared above, it is evident Honourable Okudzeto Ablakwa in his social media publication failed to appreciate and understand the PIAC report in its entirety as one detailing expenditure on projects within the calendar year rather than one on total cost of the project.

While we assure all Ghanaians that the GNPC Foundation would continue to offer support to Ghanaians across the country, we wish to appeal to the public to be circumspect in the sharing of information received on GNPC Programmes, projects, and activities to avoid causing needless sensation and public disaffection.

Executive Director

GNPC Foundation

Takoradi

 

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