General News of Wednesday, 6 July 2011
AFAG ON CORRUPTION IN NDC GOVERNMENT: A CALL FOR PROBE
Corruption in Ghana in recent times under the Mills-Mahama led NDC government seems to have taken sinister dimensions and is gravely affecting the pace of national development in Ghana. Allegations of corruption in various sectors of the economy have reached enormous proportions and AFAG wishes to call for a probe especially in the areas of public procurement, oil deals and awards of government contracts under the NDC administration. To quote President Barack Obama in his address to Parliament on his visit to Ghana “No business wants to invest in a place where the government skims 20 percent off the top, or the head of the port authority is corrupt. No person wants to live in a society where the rule of law gives way to the rule of brutality and bribery”
ALLEGATIONS OF CORRUPTION AND PRICE INFLATION ABOADZE THERMAL PLANT
It has been alleged without any response from the NDC government, that functionaries of the NDC received at least US$ 1 million dollars in bribery payments from TAQA, the United Arab Emirates based majority shareholder of the Aboadze thermal plant. According to Peter Barker – Homek, the CEO of TAQA at the time “the authorization to triple its output was obtained by inflating the official price of the expansion works” and then paying part of the surplus to government officials. This matter is before a US District Court, Eastern District of Michigan (Detroit) because Mr Barker – Homek has sued the UAE state – owned energy firm TAQA in 2010 claiming that he was forced out in 2009 after he “tried to put a stop to the kickbacks, bribery, accounting fraud and corruption” in the Mills Mahama led administration.
INFLATED CONTRACT PRICE FOR CONSTRUCTION OF SCHOOL BLOCKS
In her address to parliament recently, the Minister of Education, Hon. Betty Mould – Iddrissu stated that the cost of building one six unit classroom block under the emergency schools under tree projects cost between GHC260, 000.00 and GHC 280,000.00 Ghana cedis. We are dismayed by this over bloated contract quotations and massive corruption under the Professor Mills led NDC government who made corruption a campaign issue in the 2008 elections. This is because, there is undisputable evidence to prove that the same projects are being constructed at far lower cost under the same government. For instance in November 2009, Awutu Senya District awarded the construction of six unit classroom block, office, store, staffroom and 4 – seater KVIP latrine and 2 unit urinal at the cost of GHC 73,000.00 Ghana Cedis! Inflation at the time was around 18%. After just about a year when the level of inflation has fallen to about 9% the same project is being done at the inflated cost of Ghc280, 000.00 Ghana cedis. AFAG strongly believes that this 2 is a clear case of massive corruption and daylight robbery from the limited resources of the state by the NDC government. It is important to observe that for every one school block built under the emergency schools project the NDC government could have built four school blocks with the same level of resources if open national competitive tendering processes as required by the procurement act was dully followed. At a press briefing in Koforidua, the Eastern Regional Minister Dr ApeaKubi expressed shock at the level of corruption in his own government after inspecting a very basic two – storey dormitory with an assembly hall, funded by Getfund, at the disgraceful cost of GHC800,000.00 Ghana cedis(yes 8billion cedis).
Furthermore, the Minister Of Roads and Transport, Hon. Joe Gidisu is quoted to have said that the Achimota Ofankor road that was awarded by the previous government at the cost of $45million Dollars has been reviewed ( inflated) by the NDC government to now cost about $135 million US dollars. What has accounted for this bloated increment in the cost of the project. These are serious issues which any government would investigate to ensure that, the public purse is protected. AFAG calls on the Mills- Mahama to investigate these anomalies. President Mills continues to pontificate and sermonize more than the Pope on corruption and bribery whilst he presides over one of the most corrupt governments ever to rule our country. Within two years of this administration, we have seen some Deputy Ministers and Presidential Aides who were sharing one bedroom accommodations with their mothers building mansions or two with a salary of just about $3000 a month, according to allegations made by NDC MP for Lower Manya Krobo. Where did some of these people who never worked a day in their lives.
ALLEGATIONS OF CORRUPTION AND NEPOTISM
AFAG is equally alarmed that despite these many allegations the president continue to turn a blind eye and deaf ears to such serious canker affecting the very fabric of the Ghanaian society in its quest for accountability and good governance. For instance in the July 21 edition of Todays’s Newspaper, it was published that “Mr. Ameen Salifu, the Wa East District Chief Executive in the Upper West Region, has been accused of corruption, callousness, and nepotism by national democratic congress (NDC) executives and party foot soldiers in the district”. These allegations have been repeated in various other districts and yet the Mills- Mahama government does not seem perturbed about it let alone make any serious attempt to investigate. Moreover, allegations of corruption against the NDC government officials and even the presidency continue to make waves without any efforts on the part of government to instigate them. It has been alleged again by the NDC Member of Parliament (MP) for Lower Manya Krobo that a Deputy Minister of Information has acquired houses within the two year tenure of this government. There is also the GHC90 million Ghana cedis saga against the President for his internal campaigns and allegations of a tape with the founder of the NDC to confirm this. On October 1, 2009 the Chronicle News paper published that two constituency chairmen of the NDC in Ashanti region, Messrs Osei Bosie and D.Y Kwateng were being investigated for alleged 3 extortion of various monies from employees of Zoomlion in the Afigya Kwabre District, an amount of Ghc11,900.00 Ghana cedis apparently to grease the palms of some top officials who allegedly facilitated the employment of the workers. So far nothing has been heard about this matter in public.
INACTION OF PRESIDENT MILLS
It is amazing to observe that after all the promises to investigate corruption allegations even when they appear in newspaper publications during the 2008 campaign, the president strangely justified the unacceptable behavior of his former minister of Youth and Sports, Hon Muntaka with the infamous statement that “is Muntaka the first Minister to travel abroad with his girlfriend?”. The deliberate silence of the President on the alleged Stan Dogbe GhC120, 000.00 hampers media package has further proved the President’s lackadaisical attitude towards the fight against corruption in Ghana.
The Public Procurement Authority has refused to submit its annual report to Parliament as required by the Procurement Act and AFAG wishes to know whether the PPA is in bed with government to cover the massive corruption currently going on in public procurements.
AFAG wishes to use this platform to urgently call on the NDC government, and especially President Mills and all institutions of state responsible for fighting against corruption to immediately probe into these allegations of corruption and to where necessary take immediate steps to prosecute individuals who may be found culpable in derailing the cause of our national development.
In conclusion, AFAG wishes to reiterate that the massive corruption that has engulfed this MillsMahama Administration is gradually pushing the economy of Ghana into an asthmatic state which requires immediate intensive care and attention before the entire economy losses breath.
God bless Ghana, Long live Ghana. SIGNED
1. KWABENA BOMFEH 0244535472 2. JOHN KUMA 0244171471 3. ABU RAMADAN 0244570006 4. HON APIETU ANKRAH 0244375034 5. ARNOLD BOATENG 0244294754 6. HENRY ASANTE 0248274646 7. Bright Acheampong 0276374763