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Opinions of Friday, 20 July 2012

Columnist: Sarpong, Justice

Ablakwah, This Is A Bombshell,

The 2010 Abrogated $450 Million Lawsuit

Sarpong, Justice

Mr Okudzeto Ablakwah is looking for a bombshell to tell Ghanaians about. Let me give him a headup of a looming $450 million suit catastrophe a 2010 abrogated contract by this NDC administration which he is part of is going to leave to the next government to deal with.

The bombshell tawpie Okudzeto promised to unveil about Nana Akuffo Addo, the NPP Presidential candidate involvement in the settlement debt scandal became farcical to beguile the unsophiscated Ghanaians in this serious matter that demands the attention of the President and his senior staff to stem the tide in this frivolous corrupt ridden NDC scheme to impregnate their Bank accounts.The so called bombshell did not even has a ripple. The levity Okudzeto and NDC have attached to the settlement debt scandal is really baffling taking into account how this scheme is robbing the coffers of the Country. If Okudzeto was serious with this issue, he would have addressed the contract between Bankswitch Ghana Limited (BGL) and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MOFEP) which was abrogated in 2010. The NDC government even helped the person responsible for this problem one Elliot Ansah to leave the country for the United Kingdom in 2010 with no attempt being made for Interpol to arrest him.

Now Bankswitch Ghana Limited (BGL) with its affiliate GLC had filed a claim of GHC 816 million($450 million) at the International Court of Arbitration for the abrogation of their contract which they entered into with MOFEP in 2007 for the provision of a Customs Valuation Software to assist CEPS in revenue collection.The NDC government is trying to keep a lid on this looming gargantuan loss of much needed money from the public and instead holding Press conferences on a legitimate debt of $1.1 million government owes to a Swiss company called Great Cape.

The synopsis of this looming gargantuan debt is that, "In 2000, the Ministry of Trade and Industry on behalf of the government of Ghana and Ghana Community Network Service Limited (G-CNET) signed an agreement for the company to fully automate the CEPS clearing system and network with its stakeholders of importers, clearing agents and Ministries.In 2007, the government through MOFEP also signed another agreement with Bankswitch for the implementation of a documentation and valuation system to support Ghana’s customs authorities in levying import taxes."

The G-CNET was designed to computerize the processing of imports, exports, payment of duties and taxes as well as prevent fraud, protect government revenue and increase transparency.It is alleged that, this Elliot Ansah who was then working at the G-CNET deleted vital data from the system from 2006 to 2010 which caused the country to lose a lot in terms of revenue mobilization. Some Politicians assisted this Ansah to flee the country to London in 2010 whilst the government is left holding the bag to deal with this impending settlement debt saga.

The above case is like many of the others where the NDC government under Rawlings left office with many companies having sued the government for various reasons that was left for the incoming NPP government to deal with. Now NDC has started abrogating contracts, two by Joe Gidisu, the Minister of Roads on two road contracts, the STX 10 billion dollars housing project that the STX Ghana is threatening to go to court to protect its interest and now this abrogated contract by (MOFEP) with Bankswitch Ghana Limited (BGL).

In the likely scenerio of NPP government of 2013, it is going to be saddled with more abrogated contracts it has to deal with as it did between Jan. 2001 to Jan.2009 by going to court and contesting most of these frivolous claims NDC is paying without a whimper.

When is NDC going to stop sharing the country's assets amongst themselves through this settlement debt nonsense? How can NDC give a contract to one Eddie Annang, a known NDC Financier and a failed NDC Presidential Candidate to haul waste for Accra Metropolitan Assembly when this guy did not have the Equipments, (Trucks, cars and haulage quipments) to do the job? This is a man who is supposedly one of the richest men in Ghana feeding on Taxpayers money through cronism. The Eddie Annang CCWL contract which is suing the government for almost 7 million dollars is a sweetheart deal Rawlings NDC gave to this man. How can you buy millions of dollars of equipment, turn it over to this Eddie Annang on rental basis for five years, give him a contract in million of dollars and then tell him to keep all these equipments, still worth millions of dollars after five years for free? What made Eddie Annang who did not have any waste haulage experience to walk away with these equipments for free when AMA could have hired permanent haulage workers and kept millions worth of equipment as AMA property instead of giving it for free to one Ghanaian who will then turn around and tell us he worked for his money? Most of us can do that kind of job if given to us like the AMA 'corruptly' gave to Eddie Annang.

Ghanaians have to learn how this NDC cult is freezing the country to bankcruptcy and deny it another four years so that the next NPP government can put these thieves to trial and retrieve the properties stolen by this Mills government.

Justice Sarpong

Houston, Texas