The Herald, has landed an interesting document revealing how the Ghana Parliament under the directions of the Speaker, Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye, is trading a parcel of a juicy land with a London-based private hotelier to construct a 250-guest room hotel facility and be paying the legislature some money.
Interestingly, the arrangement with Quant International Property Group, is based on sole sourcing, as has been the case lately with several state institutions.
What is strange to many is that, no one knows the middlemen, who linked the management and owners of Quant International Property Group to Ghana’s Parliament.
The middlemen, are said to be known only to the Speaker and the Group Chief Executive and Director of Quant International Ltd, Mr. Antoine West, who is based in London.
The deal, has raised eyebrows, including Members of Parliament (MPs) as well as staff of the House with some suggesting, it is a cooked deal to give away the state land through a shady scheme.
They have also raised concerns as to the propriety of a vital arm of the state like Parliament, going into business for profit-making purposes, when Parliamentarians are banned from doing private businesses for profit.
Argument that, the move amounts to the commercialization of Parliament, has also surfaced.
Additional arguments were that , hotels such as Mövenpick and Kempinski Hotel Gold Coast, are already in the Parliamentary enclave, and that Parliament will eventually lose its prime land to the hotelier, who will be competing with these hotels, thus denying Parliament the intended revenue, as well as access and the state land.
Finally, it was argued that Parliament under the leadership of the Speaker, Mike Aaron Oquaye, is setting a dangerous precedence by commercializing its facilities, and this might lead to state organs like the Judiciary to follow suit.
Meanwhile, The Herald has cited a letter dated June 16, 2018, from Parliament and addressed to one Mr. Antoine West of Quant International Property Group by the Speaker of Parliament; Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye.
The four paragraphed letter, disclosed a May 14, meeting in Accra between and the Quant International Property Group, where a formal proposal document entitled Hotel Development, Parliament Hotel” was provided to the Office of Parliament.
The Speaker’s letter mentioned that “the proposal is for the development as a joint venture with Parliament, of an internationally branded hotel of up to 250 hotel guest rooms on land forming part of the Parliament enclave”.
It said since the meeting “the Parliamentary Service Board, has met to consider your proposal. We are of the view that the proposed joint venture development, will bring numerous benefits. Its location next to Parliament and near the Accra International Conference Centre, is ideal for Members of Parliament and local and international hotel guests, creating an invaluable place to stay, entertained and hold meetings. It will provide a substantial source of local employment to run the hotel and extensive training of staff to international standards. It will generate significant revenues for Parliament and stimulate further growth in the economy”.
“In the circumstances, I am please to inform you that the Parliamentary Service Board, has approved your proposal in principle, adding “the next step is preparation of a joint Venture Lease Agreement for the approval of the Parliamentary Service Board of the Parliament of Republic of Ghana”, the Speaker’s letter said.
But a cursory look at Prof. Oquaye’s letter, suggested he was rather making the proposal to the management and owners of Quant International Property Group and not the other way round.
The Speaker’s letter, also sounded as though the private hoteliers were looking for a land to build a hotel, and was being enticed by the speaker with the state land.
More to come!