General News of Sat, 9 Sep 20178
Waste bins rot: Let’s not focus on Jospong; Collins Dauda, others must answer – Bentil
Policy analyst and Vice President of Imani Centre for Policy and Education, Kofi Bentil, wants government officials that okayed a controversial $74 million service contract between Jospong Group subsidiaries and district assemblies across the country to be questioned.
Speaking on Joy News/MultiTV news analysis programme, Newsfile, Saturday, Mr Bentil said the former Minister of Local Government, Collins Dauda, for instance, was forceful in the award of the contract that may have been bloated by at least two-folds and hence must not be left off the hook.
A Joy News’ investigative report found that waste management giant, Zoomlion Ghana Ltd, and other subsidiaries of their parent company, Jospong Group of Companies, were awarded the waste bins and waste bin liners contract and other contracts under questionable conditions.
The $74 million waste bins contract was awarded when thousands of waste bins due for disbursement to the public were rotting away at the offices of the district assemblies and other store rooms of other government agencies.
Also, a GH¢98 million fumigation contract awarded subsidiaries of the Jospong Group was also found by the Joy News investigation led by Manasseh Azuri Awuni to have been poorly undertaken, amid claims by some the assemblies that they were not actively involved in the contract process or the delivery of the terms of the contract.
Four officials of the Jospong Group have been interrogated by the police since the news broke.
Related: 4 Jospong officials quizzed by Police over questionable contracts Shortly after a clip of the investigative report was played on Newsfile, Mr Bentil said although the focus has been on the private firm, some public officials clearly facilitated the possible underhand dealing.
“We hear in this clip that Manasseh read that there is one Collins Dauda who is pushing for payments on an urgency basis.
It is the same Collins Dauda who, in a dry season, said that rains were imminent and so we should go get a million more bins when we have 50,000 more coming and when we had more that we have not distributed. They [state officials] are a major source of all these,” he said.
He adds: “Sometimes the private operators themselves work with these people to create all these things, but ultimately the state institutions are set up such that when these things happen they must cut them off. That is why you have the Auditor-General and co.
He said it has become common knowledge that civil servants have been neck deep in possible corrupt deals, and urged anti-graft institutions to tackle the problem from that area.
“Sometimes you hear people [in the state system] ask questions, but someone comes in and say ‘let us push this thing’... I am saying let us not simply focus on Jospong. Let us go to the root.
“It is not just politicians again...some civil servants, some people within the system who are faceless, nameless and may not be very easy to find are behind this. I think we should find a way to stop this thing at a certain point,” he urged.