By Papisdaff Abdullah
Ghana’s largest opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has accused the Akufo-Addo administration of squandering over $6million on private investigations aimed at nailing appointees in the erstwhile Mahama government.
According to the NDC, the investigations being done by private investigators at a staggering cost to the state, are being done simultaneously with other state agencies like the Economic and Organized Crimes Office (EOCO).
“The NDC has credible information that an amount of at least $6.8million has so far being paid by the NPP government under President Akufo-Addo’s watch to these private firms to carry out work that’s already being done or has been completed by state agencies,” said the General Secretary of the NDC Johnson Asiedu Nketia at a news conference.
“Meanwhile,” he added, “the taxpayers’ money is being spent on state agencies like the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service, the Economic and Organized Crimes Office (EOCO), the Special Prosecutor’s Office, the Auditor General’s Department and the Attorney General’s. Any of these [institutions] could have carried out these audits.”
He said the party has evidence from some former appointees that while they have been or are being subjected to EOCO’s investigations and while they have submitted themselves to regularly reporting to EOCO, they have also received letters from some of these private firms to answer the same questions they have already answered at EOCO.
The NDC’s accusation follows the uncovering of some procurement irregularities amounting to a whopping US$137,861,127.15 at Ghana National Gas Company during the erstwhile administration of John Mahama by a private firm Morrison and Associates.
Commissioned by the government, Morrison and Associates’ forensic audit of Ghana Gas further detected that helicopters purchased from China National Aero-Technology Import and Export Corporation (CATIC) by Ghana Gas “have never been used for purpose of its purchase.”
According to the audit report in possession of panafricanvisions.com, as a result of the situation, a whopping amount of $54,800,000 has gone down the drain as “financial loss to the state.”
It added: “Abnitio training cost not fully utilized for its intended purpose” amounts to US$300,000, making a total of US$61,058,366.756.
The report which has been submitted to President Akufo-Addo and his cabinet also detected procurement breaches worth US$34,451,650.22 and US$42,351,110.17 in contracts with Memphis Metropolitan Limited and Kingspok Company Limited respectively.
The report which covered the board chairmanship tenure of Dr Kwesi Botchwey also has it that equipment for the helicopters worth $5,958,366.76 “were not delivered even though it was part of the contract price.”
A former member of the Ghana National Gas Company board Dr Valerie Sawyerr has since challenged report of the forensic audit describing it as shoddy.