Ministers clash over GYEEDA probe

Tue, 2 Jul 2013 Source: The Scandal

There is feuding tension between the Minister of Youth and Sports, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, and his predecessor, Clement Kofi Humado, who is currently the Minister of Agriculture, over the ongoing probe into the activities of the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA).

According to sources close to both Ministers and the Five-member Committee, Mr. Kofi Humado is not enthused about the probe because “he believes the probe undermines his credibility since most of the contracts were signed when he was the Sports Minister”. “He suspects that Mr. Afriyie Ankrah is using the rare opportunity to shore up his own credibility at the expense of Mr. Humado,” the sources disclosed.

Mr. Afriyie was President Mahama’s 2012 campaign coordinator, but sits outside of the cabinet while Mr. Humado who is accused to doing very little to help the campaign sits in cabinet.

The sources further stated that the Sports Minister, on the other hand, is also bent on getting to the roots of the allegations in order to raise his public ratings to further his future plans in the Party. That, according to the sources, has created simmering tension between the two Ministers.

The Sports Minister recently in the wake of damning media allegations against GYEEDA, formerly the National Youth Employment Program (NYEP), set up a committee to probe the financial management operation of bank accounts, procurement and contracting procedures, disbursements, human resource and other management practices, as well as, the current status of GYEEDA.

They are also to “evaluate the administrative and accounting procedures and disbursement procedures that have been followed to review and investigate any potential conflict of interest,” among others.

This five-member Committee is made up of Ferdinand Ghan, who is Chairman, Edward Amuzu, as the Secretary. Mr.Randolf Nsoh, Member, Kwame Edem Senanu, Member, and Mike K. Garba of the Public Services Commission as a Member.

The committee has an eight-week duration and another two weeks within which to submit the final report to the sector minister.

It is also expected to carry out an in-depth investigation to determine possible irregularities of crime and related financial losses, as well as actions taken by management to recover possible embezzled money and other assets.

The media reports alleged that there was systematic fraud in the operations of GYEEDA perpetuated by a well-coordinated network of some of its officials. The exposé spearheaded by Joy Fm's Manasseh Azure Awuni extensively looked at the role of GYEEDA and the Ministry of Youth and Sports in the questionable contracts with service providers.

The investigations also revealed that Better Ghana Management Service, a subsidiary of Jospong Group of Companies, deducted contributions to the Provident Fund of beneficiaries of three modules, but has never paid it to the fund managers.

The investigations revealed that, Zoomlion signed a contract with GYEEDA which allowed it to charge a management fee of GH¢400 and pay beneficiaries GH¢100, but the company at a press conference to rebut the allegations, explained that it (Zoomlion) had nothing to do with how much beneficiaries were paid.

According to Joy Fm, some GYEEDA officials, including Mr. Abuga Pele, the immediate past National Coordinator of GYEEDA, opposed some of the contracts with Better Ghana Management Service.

Minutes of a GYEEDA management meeting on December 21st 2011 indicate fierce opposition to the contract.

Murtala Mohammed, MP for Savelegu Nanton and Deputy Minister of Information and Media Relations was one of them. He was the Deputy National Coordinator in charge of communications at GYEEDA and fiercely resisted the arrangement: “Are we outsourcing our module to Zoomlion? I will personally not accept this decision, and I’m going public to oppose it. Are we saying we lack competence to manage this programme? And what is the guarantee that Better Ghana Management Service (BGMSL) can handle the programme better than us? I want it to be on record that I, Murtala Mohammed, vehemently oppose this decision, and I am prepared to debate it everywhere,” he threatened.

Source: The Scandal

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