A FORENSIC AUDIT will soon be undertaken to determine the actual cost of the Rattray Park in Kumasi, as available financial records at the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) indicates that US$1,267,241.00 was used in the construction instead of the staggering US$4.5 million which was quoted as the project cost.

The Kumasi Mayor, Osei Assibey Antwi, stated, “Obviously, this is about US$3.2 million far less than the US$4.5 million declared as the cost of construction. There is certainly the need for a forensic audit to establish the actual cost of the project.”

Delivering his maiden sessional address to the packed-to-capacity house on Thursday, the mayor said some contractors, with no formal contracts, had been trooping to the KMA recently for the payment of goods supplied/works done, in connection with the Rattray Park project.

The Kumasi Mayor said “it therefore goes without saying that the cost of some of the works might not have been formally captured”, proposing that the only means to clear the doubts about the exact cost of the project, is a forensic audit, which will be done soon.

Rattray Park History

The Rattray Park was built by the erstwhile National Democratic Congress (NDC) government under the supervision of Kojo Bonsu, the then Kumasi Mayor, who whilst addressing a section of the media in Kumasi, quoted a whopping US$4.5 million, as the cost of the project.

This figure was met with instant protests by some of the assembly members, notably, Abraham Boadi aka Opooman, the Ridge/Nhyiaeso Assemblyman, who is now the Presiding Member of the KMA. He argued that the amount quoted was bloated.

KMA Financial Records

Mr Osei Assibey stated that the KMA financial records that he came to meet “show that the overall budgetary allocation for this project for the period, 2013-2016 was GH¢5,278,674.40 and that total payments made in respect of various lots of the project as at 31st December, 2016, was GH¢5,068,964.01 or $1,267,241.00, using a conservative rate of GH¢4 to a dollar.

“Obviously, this is about $3.2 million far less than the $4.5 million declared as the cost of construction.” He added that the CCTV cameras installed at the facility are not working; equipment at the gym are exposed to the vagaries of the weather, among a host of challenges.

The mayor stated that the children’s playground lacks the variety of materials and space to accommodate the different age ranges and some of the facilities that would attract more patronage are not installed or are inadequate in number to satisfy the demands of the patrons.

He assured that “We shall have to develop a strategy, including a marketing plan, that will turn around the fortunes of the park and make it more viable,” adding that his administration, which would be transparent, would seek to expedite the growth of the city.

Huge Debt

Mr Osei Assibey announced that the KMA is currently indebted to the tune of GH¢119,213,333.22, accumulated over several years, claiming that the financial status of the assembly, which is also saddled with judgment debt to the tune of GH¢6,427,287.75, is not encouraging at all.

Giving details of the KMA’s debt stockpiled over the years, he said the assembly owes Common Fund contractors and suppliers GH¢321,550.59; IGF suppliers GH¢3,599,717,05; IGF contractors GH¢855,564.42, waste management service providers GH¢63,833,626.73 and judgment debt creditors GH¢50,602,874.43.

Focus Areas

Mr Assibey noted that settlement of legal disputes and related debts, efficient and effective waste and sanitation management, decongestion of human and vehicular traffic in the central business district, relocation of traders to the Kejetia and other satellite markets, creation of enabling business environment and development of car parks, are some of his core focus areas.

Source: Daily Guide