Contractor complains Salone Embassy in Ethiopia over non-payment of construction fees
SIERRA LEONE, Freetown: The Auditor General’s review of correspondence in Sierra Leone’s Embassy in Ethiopia, has revealed that MEEG Building Contractor PLC wrote letters of complaints to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Ethiopia for the payment of the outstanding amount in respect of work done by the contractor.
Their complain was with respect to the construction of the Chancery Building, Ambassador’s Residence & VIP Suites at the Sierra Leone Embassy, Ethiopia. The Embassy audit spanned from 1st January 2016 to 31st December, 2020.
According to the Auditor General, even though the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Ethiopia had also written letters to the Embassy, urging them to honour its contractual obligation to the MEEG, there was no evidence submitted in the form of receipt from the contractor to indicate that the Embassy has paid the outstanding amount.
A physical verification of the Ambassador’s residence and VIP suites under construction revealed that the work has been abandoned for years.
Audit interviews and review of documents revealed that the work was halted because the Government failed to provide funds for the payment of outstanding fees for work done. The contractor stated in one of its correspondence that; “the abandonment of the construction of the buildings for years is bound to have dire consequences on the integrity of the structure of the buildings”.
The Government of Sierra Leone through the Sierra Leone Embassy in Ethiopia signed a contract in 2012 with MEEG Building Contractor PLC for the construction of the new chancery building, Ambassador’s residence, VIP suites and general site work.
The contract documents revealed that the original contract price was $2.6 million ($2,620,243.34.). Physical verification and review of the project documents and correspondences revealed that the chancery building has been 99% completed and inaugurated in 2017, but the Ambassador’s residence and the VIP suites were still not completed, and the contract period has elapsed.
As a result, the contract was revised in 2018 which extended the date for completion and also readjusted the contract price by adding $155,147.63, to take into account inflations arising over the additional four-year period.
During verification, the auditors reviewed a copy of the credit advice for $530,000 the GoSL later remitted to the Embassy with regards the project. There was no evidence that the work has resumed. ZIJ/22/12/2021
By [email protected]