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General News of Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Source: Front Page

250 Billion Corruption Under Trees Pt.1

Hundreds of billions of state funds have been blown financially arming companies owned by suspected agents of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC)to be resourceful enough to contribute towards activities of the ruling party in its endeavour to perpetuate itself in power in spite of the dismal performance of the Mills-Mahama administration.
Under the so-called Schools Under Trees Project, the Ministry of Education has adopted what it calls ‘multiple sole sourcing’ under which the political heads of the ministry in collaboration with the Public Procurement Authority headed by NDC kingpin Samuel Sallas Mensah as Chief Executive, awarded juicy contracts for the supply of furniture for deprived schools to hand-picked companies instead of subjecting the contracts to open tender.
In one instance, the award of contracts which cost the tax-payer GHc24,954.410 (c249, 544,100,00) was awarded to companies hand-picked by the political heads of the Education Ministry with approval from Mr. Silas Mensah as Chief Executive of the National Procurement Board for the supply of bunk beds and classroom furniture for senior high schools and desks for basic schools.
An approval letter for these contracts signed by Mr. Samuel Silas-Mensah Chief Executive of the Public Procurement Authority, addressed to the Hon. Minister of Education, a copy of which is in the custody of this paper courtesy of an angry source at the Castle, is captioned: Re-Request for Multiple Sole Sourcing Supply and Delivery of Bunk Beds & Classroom Furniture for Senior High Schools and Desks for Basic Schools.
“We make reference to your letter no. GR/MOE/GD/MSS/GETFUND/01/2011 dated 27th September, 2011 on the above subject matter.
“At its 71st SSRT meeting held on Wednesday, 5th October 2011, the Board decided that approval should be granted MOE in accordance with Section 40 (1) (b) of Act 663 to use multiple sole sourcing method for the supply and delivery of the following Bunk Beds & Classroom Furniture for Senior High Schools and Desks for basic Schools at a total estimated cost of GHc25,000,000.00 (per the list attached.)”
The items are Mono Beds estimated to cost the tax-payer GHc3103,500, Dual Desks at a cost of GHc3,799,800, another group of Dual Desks at GHc8,966,000, TS Table/Chair for GHc2,065,350, KG Table/6 Chairs at GHc1,766,400, SHS Classroom Furniture costing GHc1,893,360 and SHS Bunk Beds valued at GHc3,360,000, bringing the total cost to GHc24,954,410.
The letter ends thus: “Kindly ensure that all documentation regarding the procurement is appropriately kept to facilitate future procurement and tax audit. We count on your usual co-operation,” signed Hon. Samuel Sallas-Mensah, Chief Executive.
What has raised concern among players in the procurement industry, is the award of contracts for supplies in some catchment areas to companies far away from the schools intended to benefit from the deal.
For instance, supplies of 750 Bunk Beds at a total cost of GHc 198,750 for Bole Senior High School, Wulensi Senior High School, Walewale Senior High School, Ghana Senior High School in Tamale and Business High School in Tamale, all located in the Northern Region were awarded to Rocky Stream Enterprise in Accra.
A total of 750 Bunk Beds commissioned for delivery to Likpe Senior High School, Bishop Herman Senior High School at Kpando, Mawuko Girls High School at Ho, Zion College at Anloga and Awudome Senior High School at Tsito, all in the Volta Region went to Vinte Enterprise in Takoradi, while the supplies for Western Regional institutions like Half Assini Senior High School, Bibiani Senior Technical High School, Juaboso Senior SHS, Fijai, SHS and Sekondi College were given to Zimmah Enterprise in Accra.
The supply of Desk for some basic schools in the Upper West were handed over to Solid Development Limited of Accra , those for some basic schools in the Brong Ahafo Region went to Meltiba Enterprise Limited of Tamale while Adomkop Limited of Kumasi made supplies to some schools in the Central Region.