Minister of Defense, Dominic Nitiwul has blamed delays in the completion of the Military Hospital at Afari in the Atwima Nwabiagya Municipality on tax exemption approval which prevented the contractor Messrs Euroget Da Invest SA (EDI) from procuring materials and equipment in large quantities to accelerate the project.
Construction of the hospital started in 2008 but has since not been completed.
According to the Defence Minister, the five hundred bed facility with staff residential facility was approved by Parliament in October 2008 to be sited at Sofoline in Kumasi with completion period of forty-two months.
The project was however revised in January 13, 2010 and relocated to Tamale and further relocated from Tamale to Accra 37 Military hospital and finally to Afari, Nkwaie in the Atwima Nwabiagya Municipality.
He further pointed that the above reasons delayed the project until commencement of the construction in 2014.
The contractor was granted tax exemption in 2017 after being on site for almost three years as a result the completion date was moved to 2018.
In April, 2018, the project suffered contractual dispute 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, as the case is currently in court.
The Minister was responding to Mr. Emmanuel Agyei Anhwere, Member of Parliament for Atwima-Nwabiagya South who wanted to know what had stalled the construction of the Military hospital at Afari in the Atwima Nwabiagya Municipality.
He said the Ministry then had to re-award the sub-contacts to a new sub-contractors, Messrs Africa Building Partners (ABP) and Messrs Core Construction which took a while due to background checks that were required and completions 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.
“Currently civil works at the hospital site is about ninety percent complete whilst that of housing is about fifty percent, as overall civil works is about seventy percent complete”.
A team from the Ministry and contractors have visited Philips, the medical equipment manufactures to inspect the equipment to be supplied in Holland and China and have given a satisfactory report for the equipment to be provided.
Meanwhile, construction is expected to be complete by the end of the year, however the extension of electricity which is estimated to take seven months would delay its handing over until the first half of 2020.