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General News of Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Source: Myjoyonline.com

Minister orders probe into ‘high-cost’ dinner by Maritime Authority CEO

Transport Minister, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, has directed investigations into claims that the Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA) spent in excess of GHS135,000 on food and drinks at a dinner dance.

Mr. Ofori Asiamah in a two-paragraph release to the media Monday, October 29, indicated that he had charged the Board of Directors of the Authority to investigate the allegations.

“My attention has been drawn to a number of allegations against the Director-General of the Ghana Maritime Authority, Mr. Kwame Owusu, which have gone viral on social media.

“As the sector Minister with oversight responsibility over the Ghana Maritime Authority, I wish to indicate that I have directed the Board of the Authority to investigate the allegations and report to me for necessary action,” the release indicated.

Background

Controversial musician cum politician, Kwame A-Plus, posted on Facebook, documents requesting approval for payment of GH?135,125 in one night, on food, drinks and music, for an end-of-year dinner party on December 22, 2017.

The amount, according to A-Plus, was paid to Luxe Suites Hotel where CEO of the GMA, Mr. Kwame Owusu, also holds the position of Group Chairman raising concerns of a possible conflict of interest. On a separate occasion, a request was made by the Director, Administration, for the payment of GH?10,652 to the same Luxe Suites Hotel for food and drinks for eight people at a meeting.

He wrote thus: “Charley, me I still don't understand how 8 people spent 10,652,00 on food during a meeting. Ah how? It means each person's food (just one meal) cost 1,335.00 Ghana cedis. Really? If you own Ghana as your private company, will you spend this amount on a meal for just one meeting? If we complained during the campaign that NDC spent 20 dollars on Kenkey in Brazil, how then can we support this? 20 dollars is just 100 Ghana [cedis]. This is GHS1.335.00 per person per meal. Did they chew golden sausages or the elephant itself came to the meeting?”

A Plus added: “Apart from conflict of interest, which is a serious offence, let me ask this: How many people ate 135,125.00 Ghana cedis worth of food? Herrrrh they can eat oooo, hahahahahaha. And wait, wait, wait. The second invoice… how many people ate over 10,000.00 Ghana cedis food at one meeting? Come for your medals. You people can eat for Africa. Waaaawolo. Pick pockets have taken the public purse from Nana Addo’s pocket.”

Response

Management of the GMA has reportedly been deliberating over the matter since the news broke on social media and the Minister’s action is expected to unravel the truth or otherwise in the allegations.

The statement, however, fell short of indicating the timelines of the investigation to be carried out by the Board of Directors of the GMA.