Allotey Jacobs has touted the credentials of Madam Frema Osei-Opare, Chief of Staff, for chairing the Agenda 111 Project Implementation Committee.
The government has secured $100 million to build 111 hospitals across the country.
The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Tuesday, cut sod to commence the construction of 88 out of the 111 hospitals.
“So far sites have been identified for 88 of the 111 hospitals, and after cutting the sod, work on the other 87 sites will also commence today [Tuesday].”
“The acquisition of the remaining 13 sites will be completed shortly for work to begin. Each hospital is being constructed at a cost of $16.88 million, i.e. $12.88 million for construction and $4 million for medical equipment, and all the hospitals are to be completed in 18 months and works will begin on the regional and other hospitals in the latter part of the year,” the President said.
Madam Frema Osei-Opare has been criticized by the Minority in Parliament for her role in ensuring the implementation of the project.
Member of Parliament for Adaklu, Kwame Governs Agbodza, according to a Ghanaweb publication, claims the Agenda 111 project to build hospitals across the country is a project under the office of the Chief of Staff (CoS).
This, to him, will make accountability difficult because Parliament can question only the Minister of Health and not the Chief of Staff.
“We have Ministry of Health with technical staff to initiate, supervise and commission these hospitals in this country. Isn’t it curious that it is the Chief of Staff who is signing letters for awarding contracts to contractors and consultants to build teaching hospitals?
“I am telling you that the Ministry of Health is not the one in charge of the construction of Agenda 111, they went and recruited an estate developer whose estates are along the Junction Mall and set up Agenda 111 secretariat with V8s and other things and pushing that they are going to modify a policlinic design and call it a district hospital.
“I am a Member of Parliament, how do I demand accountability for what is going on from the Chief of Staff? Chief of Staff doesn’t have an audience in Parliament, it is the Minister so you go and put it there before the president.
“The Ministry of Health is the one in charge of awarding project for any agenda 111. Why is President Akufo-Addo interested in being the one awarding hospital project? Is it because of something in it?” Mr. Agbodza said.
Allotey Jacobs, in reply to the Minority, has endorsed Madam Osei-Opare for leading the Committee.
“This Chief of Staff is a proper Director of Operations. I’m telling you. Look, if you want a real Director of Operations at the Presidency, it’s Madam Frema Osei-Opare. Everything she does is quiet but the work is done. Her era has produced Ministers who are very progressive,” he emphasized on Peace FM’s “Kokrokoo”.
He advised the President and government to make the project visible to Ghanaians saying, “we can’t persuade the people when they see what projects are going on”.
Also jumping in defense of the Chief of Staff, CPP former General Secretary, James Kwabena Bomfeh called on Ghanaians to ”have confidence, trust in her”.