General News of Wednesday, 29 May 2013
The management of Zoomlion Ghana Limited has denied mismanaging the youth in sanitation module of the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Agency (GYEEDA).
It, therefore, described recent media reports on the disbursement of allowances to beneficiaries of the module as unfair and distorted.
At a news conference in Accra yesterday, Mr Kwame Gyan, solicitor for the company, said no beneficiary of the programme was paid GH¢50 allowance as reported.
He explained that the allowances ranged from GH¢55 to GH¢205, depending on the beneficiary’s educational qualification.
Mr Gyan said not all beneficiaries on the sanitation module were workers of the company, adding that many of them were government employees who were being managed by Zoomlion Ghana Limited under the GYEEDA programme.
“We have not given them appointment letters, and technically they are employees of the state. We manage them on behalf of the Republic and we spend in accordance with the list that we provide to the government,” it said.
Mr Gyan said the company made proposals regarding the cost of managing the project to the government.
“When this is approved by the government, it then comes back to us and we disburse the money according to the itemised expenditure,” he said.
According to him, for the years that the company was involved in the GYEEDA programme, the fees that were payable to the company for managing the programme were fixed at GH¢350 per beneficiary per month but it was increased in 2011.
Recent media reports indicated that the government paid GH¢500 every month per beneficiary of the Youth in Sanitation module, which GYEEDA runs in partnership with Zoomlion Ghana Limited.
The reports said out of that amount, only GH¢100 was paid to the beneficiaries monthly, while Zoomlion retained GH¢400 as management fees.
The media reports further indicated that a contract signed by the then Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Clement Kofi Humado, in March 2011 pegged Zoomlion’s management fee per beneficiary at GH¢300 per month and beneficiary allowance at GH¢50.
It said in November that same year, the then Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Mr Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, signed a document in which the beneficiary allowance was increased from GH¢50 to GH¢100 and Zoomlion’s management fees moved from GH¢300 to GH¢400.
Mr Gyan said allowances paid to the beneficiaries were as follows: Community education teaching assistant (CETA) GH¢80; health extension workers, GH¢120; Paid Internships (JHS), GH¢60; secondary school graduates GH¢70; technical school graduates GH¢80; diplomates GH¢110; first degree holders GH¢160; and master’s degree holders GH¢205.
He said the rest of the money was used to purchase pieces of equipment such as nose masks, hand gloves, uniforms, safety boots, caps, alley brooms, shovels, and tricycles.
Mr Gyan said payments to beneficiaries were made regularly on monthly basis to be reimbursed on a quarterly basis by the government.
However, from November 2012 till date, the company had not been paid, forcing it to borrow from the market at 33 per cent interest rate.
Therefore, he said, the government had not honoured its side of the contract by reimbursing the Better Ghana Management Services (BGMS) regularly, hence the arrears.
On the issue of the provident fund, Mr Gyan said the issue had been resolved by the law courts, saying that “henceforth, beneficiaries’ contributions will be deducted from source when government is paying BGMS as directed by the court”.