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Regional News of Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Source: citifmonline.com

Subah named in gov’t motorbike deal

Under-fire I.T company, Subah Infosolutions has yet again been fingered in the purchase of motorbikes for the nationwide street naming and property addressing projects.

A document intercepted by citifmonline.com indicates that government [Local Government and Rural Development] has directed Regional Ministers and Metropolitan Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to make payment for motorbikes and field equipment that will be used for the nationwide street naming exercise.

President John Dramani Mahama in March, 2013 directed the Ministry for Local Government and Rural Development to implement the street naming exercise within eighteen months.

According to the memo signed by acting director for the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Vincent K.Adzato-Ntem on May 2, 2014, MMDAs have been instructed to make payments to Subah Infosolutions and Street Naming Ghana Limited.

”I refer to an earlier correspondence from the ministry dated 14th April 2014 on the above subject [PROCUREMENT OF OFFICE EQUIPMENT FOR STREET NAMING AND PROPERTY ADDRESSING PROJECT ACTIVITIES] matter and wish to inform you that two separate cheques are to be written by each MMDA in respect of the street naming items being distributed by the ministry to MMDAs,” the directive noted.

It ordered that cheques be paid to Subah Infosolutions for the procurement of motorbikes and Street Naming Ghana Limited for the purchase of equipment and accessories and softwares.

”Gratefully inform all MMDAs to take note and comply with this directive accordingly,” the memo added.

The Ministry for Local Government per the document appears to be making the payments for bulk procurement of motorbikes and equipment for the street naming project.

What is Curious…

Why is Subah Infosolutions, an I.T company being contracted for the purchase of motorbikes?

What process did the Ministry go through for Subah to be given the right to procure motorbikes.

Was it open tender or sole sourcing?

Did it go through the appropriate channels?

What is the unit cost of each motorbike?

Why can’t the districts procure the motorbikes on their own?

These are some curious questions that government is required to answer. Subah Infosolutions, a subsidiary of Zoomlion Ghana Ltd. is currently involved in a controversial GH?74million deal with the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).

Local governance expert, George Kyei-Baffour speaking to the issue noted that there was a disconnection between central government introducing a concept and asking MMDAs to fund it.

“I believe it is not in good taste and for that matter decentralisation is concerned; my problem has to do with the timing of the payment,” he said.

He expressed worry about why government will ask MMDAs to issue cheques out of the under paid funds due assemblies for the quarter.

”We received as low as about 40 percent of the expected revenue that were due to the assemblies for the quarter; if government is saying we should issue cheques out of the [small] amount allocated to the assemblies for payment of such programmes then there will be a disaster,” he said.

Mr. Kyei-Baffour explained on Eyewitness News that he doubts how the assemblies can get monies from the meager releases to pay for the street naming project.

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