Ghana is still marking time in terms of development despite gaining independence some 63 years ago. And at the forefront of Ghana’s retardation are the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP). They since the democratization of Ghana in 1992, have been the two parties trusted by the citizenry to lead the country into the promised land.
However, both parties have woefully failed to transform Ghana into the earthly heaven they promise when election year approaches. And a significant factor contributing to both parties’ failure is corruption. Do you know what’s even more shocking? When both parties are quizzed on what they’ve done to reduce corruption, the conversation, most often than not, degenerates into a needless comparison of who’s more corrupt than the other. So the reality check is that both parties have accepted that corruption is here to stay; hence they won’t fight it but will rather fight over who’s more corrupt than the other.
It is our collective duty to hold truth to power and to ensure that the wielders of power do not throw dust into our eyes at every given opportunity. A grave factor which culminated in John Mahama’s defeat in the 2016 elections was how his appointees flaunted money about; the opulence was too glaring and to say the least, annoying. Ghanaians had seen enough and massively endorsed Nana Akufo-Addo who won the elections on the first round and with a vote margin of 984,570 – a historic victory.
It can be recalled that Nana Akufo-Addo in the run-up to the 2016 elections, campaigned on the mantra of being ‘incorruptible’ and in effect, made Ghanaians believe that the blatant corruption and abuse of power that was witnessed during John Mahama’s erstwhile administration would be a thing of the past.
Talk, they say, is cheap! Nana Addo’s first impression as the President of Ghana was not one to remember as the speech he gave on 7th January 2017, was found to be a plagiarized one. Ghana became the centre of mockery all around the world. And that was how the tone of H.E Nana Akufo-Addo’s governance was set!
Among many other things, H.E Nana Akufo-Addo and his appointees ensured that they used the slightest of opportunities they had to blame John Mahama’s administration for the woes the country faced.
And so when news of John Mahama’s alleged involvement in an Airbus scandal broke out, the NPP were beside themselves with joy and sought to point accusatory fingers at John Mahama, forgetting that ‘when you point your finger at someone, the rest point back at you’. Suddenly, the NPP and its leadership realized that they are saints, but is that the case? Since Nana Akufo-Addo took over the helm of affairs, has there being instances of corruption? Do the NPP and its leadership have any moral right to point fingers at John Mahama?
Call this a revision, let’s remind ourselves of some scandals which have rocked the leadership of ‘The Incorruptible’ Nana Akufo-Addo which are even bigger than John Mahama’s alleged Airbus scandal and validates the notion that these two parties are just taking Ghanaians on a JOY RIDE!
BOST contaminated fuel scandal
The Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation (BOST) was reported to have sold 5 million litres of contaminated fuel to unlicensed companies, Movepinna Energy and ZUPOIL, which reportedly cost Ghana 15 million cedis in revenue. Shockingly, the Minister of Energy at the time, Mr. Boakye Agyarko shamelessly came out to say that the Bureau of National Investigation (BNI) cleared BOST of any wrongdoing.
US$800,000 website saga
In December 2017, a ministry, newly created by the Akufo-Addo government, the Ministry for Special Development and Initiatives which was headed by Mavis Hawa Koomson, budgeted $800,000 to be used in creating a new website. This is unheard of because a simple search on Google reveals that the highest amount of money required to build a feature-rich, custom-built website is $30,000. Shockingly, because of the ruling party’s majority in parliament, the budget was approved.
On 27th December 2017, the Ministry of Information, led by Ursula Owusu Ekuful awarded KelniGVG company, a controversial 10-year contract worth $178million to monitor and track the revenues of Telecommunication Companies in Ghana. The contract was viewed as a duplication of jobs and a needless drain of the country’s resources since the National Communications Authority, the Ghana Revenue Authority and Afriwave had already being tasked to carry out the mandate being handed down to KelniGVG.
The more shocking aspect of this deal is that; KelniGVG’s principal activities as stated on its website include; Import-Export, Building and Road Construction, Civil and Electrical Engineering and they have nothing to do with telecommunications.
US$2.25billion bond saga
In April 2017, just some three months after President Nana Addo’s inauguration, the Finance Minister, Ofori-Atta issued a US$2.25 billion bond. How the bond was issued, according to the Minority, left much to be desired – the process of the bond’s issuance lacked transparency. Hon. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa alleged that the bond was not on Parliament’s Issuance Calendar and that before the Finance Minister notified the market, the transaction had already started.
The Minority also averred that there was a palpable conflict of interest involving the Finance Minister and Franklin Templeton Investments, which bought the highest percentage of the bond.
The Director of Franklin Templeton Investments doubled up as the Board Chairman of a company, wherein Ofori-Atta, the Finance Minister and wife as well as Keli Gadzekpo who are close friends, hold majority shares.
Planting for food/jobs scandal
Here, the Minister for food and agriculture, Dr. Afriyie Akoto was found wanting when it was found out that the procured chemicals in a GHS 10 million contract awarded to supply chemicals to fight armyworms turned out to be fake. Also, another GHS 8million which was allocated for the public education of farmers to enable these farmers to tackle armyworm invasion proved to be a wild goose chase. That’s GHS 18million washed down the drain!
$1.37 Billion AMERI Novation and Amendment deal
When in opposition, the NPP branded an AMERI deal instituted by the erstwhile Mahama-led administration, worth $510million as corrupt. However, after securing power in 2016, this very NPP turned around, extended the deal by 15 years, inflated that very deal and was willing to pay $1.3billion for it.
The U.S. cut the funding of a support programme for Ghana’s energy sector, worth $190million after Ghana terminated a shady deal with Power Distribution Services (PDS) to operate its power-distribution network. The deal was terminated because there were issues over the legitimacy of payment guarantees supplied by PDS.
There were widespread speculations on the credibility and composition of the local Ghanaian consortium which held 51% shares in PDS.
BY: SAMUELLA OFORI OTCHERE ([email protected])