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INFLATED CONTRACT COSTS AND NON-EXISTENCE OF CONTRACTS RESPONSIBLE FOR GHANA’S DEBT― PRESIDENT AKUFO-ADDO

The Audit Service has certified payments to the tune of GH¢5.5 billion and rejected about GH¢5.7 billion cedis, out of the GHc11 billion of arrears bequeathed to Government by the previous administration.

 

The process, which was subjected to an audit review and validation, represents a potential savings of 51% on the outstanding commitments.

 

The  President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, made this known at the Flagstaff House in Accra on Thursday when he engaged the media, as part of the stock taking of his one year as President.

 

President Akufo-Addo said the outcome of the audit review and validation confirmed the validity of the claim that the value of many of the contracts awarded in the previous administration were inflated and that, apparently, in some cases, some of the contracts were non-existent.

 

He noted that throughout the 2016 election campaign, the then opposition party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), maintained that part of the reason for the difficulties with the economy was the sole sourcing of procurement by Government.

 

Illustrating the point, the President said in the year 2016, the Public Procurement Authority had six hundred and twenty-two (622) Sole Source Requests, five hundred and ninety-seven (597), representing 98%, of which were approved and 25 rejected.

 

Again, he said, there were five hundred and ninety-two (592) Requests made for Restricted Tenders, five hundred and eighty-seven (587), representing 99.15%, were approved and five were rejected, making a grand total of zero savings.

 

However, President Akufo-Addo said, in 2017, three hundred and ninety-four (394) Sole Sourcing Requests were made, out of which two hundred and twenty-three (223) (56.6%) were approved and one hundred and seventy-one (171) (43.6%) were rejected.

 

With restricted Tenders, the President said, three hundred and forty-six (346) Requests were made and one hundred and sixty-seven (167) (48%) were approved, while one hundred and seventy-nine (179) (52%) were rejected.

 

He said the savings made over the year, as a result, amounted to GH¢145.7 million; US $146.2 million; €1.85 million and £22,400.

 

On the establishment of the Office of Special Prosecutor under Act 959 and, subsequently, with the appointed of Mr Martin Amidu as the first Special Prosecutor, President Akufo said, he was aware of the general sense of anxiety in the country and the strong feeling that politicians tended  to get away with corrupt practices.

 

“A significant choice, though, that Mr Amidu is, I do not expect that he will provide all the answers for dealing with the phenomenon of corruption by public officials, but I do believe that, at the least, the Office will help remove the fear of partisan prosecution,” the President declared.

 

The President said he preferred that the Office of the Special Prosecutor should put the fear of God in all public officials who were intending to go down the path of corruption.

 

“Just in case it needs reiterating, let me state again that current office holders are as likely to be investigated and prosecuted by the Special Prosecutor, if a case is made out against them, as past office holders. At all times, the rule of law must be adhered to,” President Akufo emphasized.

 

In dealing with allegations of corruption against current appointees, the President said anybody with information about acts of corruption against any of my appointees, should forward it and be prepared to back it up with evidence.

 

He disclosed that every single act of alleged corruption labeled against any member of his administration had been investigated by independent bodies and the “findings so far made public or was in the process of being investigated.”

 

“From the allegations against the Minister for Energy-designate at his parliamentary confirmation hearings; to that against the CEO of BOST; to those against the two deputy Chiefs of Staff; to the claims of extortion against the Trade Minister; and to those against the Minister for Special Development Initiatives; they have all been investigated and no evidence has been adduced to suggest mildly the perpetration of any act of corruption,” he noted.

 

However, some people, President Akufo-Addo maintained, appeared determined to stick to their politically-motivated view that there had been corruption. This, the President said, was not a helpful stance.

 

The President reminded Ghanaians that in his first year in office, two separate bi-partisan probes in Parliament had been established to inquire into allegations of corruption, as against none in the previous administration’s tenure, despite persistent calls by the, then, Minority to do so.

 

“Try me. Produce the evidence to back the allegation, and see what the reaction will be. But, I think it is also worth pointing out that we should be careful about the new trend that appears to be emerging, whereby any allegation, no matter how spurious, quickly gains the character of a “scandal” or “an act of corruption”, even when it is shot down,” President Akufo-Addo added.

 

Source: ISD (Rex Mainoo Yeboah)

 

Created: 22 January 2018
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