The Minority in Parliament has accused the government of committing an illegality by engaging a Singaporean Architect to reduce congestion and restructure the landscape of the national capital, Accra.
The Minority Spokesperson on Roads and Transport, Kwame Agboza, believes the government should have opened the processes for competitive bidding.
The Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Maafo, earlier this week announced that the government is undertaking a process to remodel the capital to improve the quality of life and general economic growth.He stated that government is engaging the services of Dr. Liu Thai-Ker, who is acclaimed as the master planner and architect of modern Singapore, for the remodeling.
However, Mr. Agbodza said the processes government has deployed in embarking on the project is problematic.
“Under which procurement act did he hire the gentleman? If the person is not qualified to practice in this country how come he hired him? The Senior Minister is acting contrary to the laws of this country. You cannot hire someone on behalf of the state and now try to regularize his employment to say that he is going to appoint the local firm that the person works with.”
“I am saying that this singular act by the Senior Minister is an illegality and must be stopped by everybody. It is not right. It is illegal. I am calling on all professionals in this country; Ghana Institute of Planners, Ghana Institute of Engineers, Ghana Institute of Architects to get on board. This is not political. This is just allowing the Senior Minister to break the law, do not allow it. Open the thing up for competition. Let the Singaporean join and let us have a level playing field.”
The government maintains that it has become apparent to review the structure of Accra considering changes in population, economic activities as well as the impact of globalization.
For Mr. Osafo Maafo, Ghana may not have any excuse not to fall within the league of economies like Malaysia and Singapore considering the similar political and economic history of the countries.
Explaining the scope of work to be carried out by the architect, Mr. Osafo Maafo said the agreement would be in the best interest of the state.
“The agreement will not be different from what we will do normally with any architect. This one is architectural designs he has to provide. First of all, he cannot even practice architecture here; not until he belongs to the Institute of Architecture; it is by regulation.”
“So it would have to take time to regularize some of these things, partner a Ghanaian architecture firm and operate with them. But it is going to be a lot more of assessing the professional services of a professional.”
Challenges that are expected to be solved over the next fifty years involve the high traffic situation, environmental pollution, inadequate housing, infectious diseases, rural-urban migration among others.
The plan will involve redesigning a model that will make Accra compare to similar capitals in the 21st century.
Speaking to Citi Business News after a presentation to a team of architects, Dr. Liu Thai-Ker said that his mandate should bring enormous benefits to Ghana both in the immediate and long-term.
“My job is to plan Ghana’s capital city, Accra. In the past few days after listening to the Senior minister and others, I am totally persuaded by them that we should just not build Accra, but join the immediate surrounding township in order to slow down the rural-urban migration.”
“…Because if you plan only Accra and make it so attractive and not improving the conditions in the surrounding township, then there will be a bigger rush to come to Accra. This will not be good for everybody. So the likelihood is that I may be planning Accra and its immediate township,” he added.
The remodeling will commence with Accra and subsequently replicated across the country.
The deal is expected to be completed this year for initial works to start from next year.