How Saglemi contractors diverted US$40 million before project started – Baako reveals

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Sun, 8 Aug 2021 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

•Kweku Baako has been making some revelations over the Saglemi Housing scandal

•He alleges that contractors of the project diverted US$40 million before start of the housing project

•The state has already slapped criminal charges against Collins Dauda and four others

The Editor in Chief of the New Crusading Guide, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako has disclosed an alleged cash diversion under the Saglemi Housing project.

According to him, contractors of the controversial affordable housing project, diverted close to US$40 million prior to commencement of the project under the erstwhile John Dramani Mahama government.

Making the revelation on Accra-based Asaase Radio, in an interview monitored by GhanaWeb, Kweku Baako said the alleged cash diversion affected the progress of work.

“The Ghana government paid US$80 million [as a first tranche to the contractor], as required by the agreement. And on 13 April 2013, US$40 million of this US$80 million – that is apparently before the works had started – a senior member of that company [the contractor, Construtora OAS Ghana Ltd] had organised what he claims to be a loan from the company to the company’s partner outside the country,” Baako revealed.

“So, US$40 million from the US$80 million was not used to do anything in this country, straight away moved out. How was the work going to be effectively done? Just ask yourself. And you see, this is what some of these companies do to countries like Ghana,” he disclosed.

Baako explained that the firm subsequently came under intense scrutiny by the Brazilian government over corruption-related activities resulting in the cash diversion measure to settle an insolvency problem.

“If 50% of that US$80 million was flighted out of the country, obviously it will affect the work, so that one, US$40 million… went somewhere. It was chopped outside Ghana.”

Meanwhile, the State has slapped criminal charges to former Minister of the Works and Housing, Collins Dauda and fours others for causing financial loss to the state over their involvement into the Saglemi Housing project.

A statement of offense sighted by GhanaWeb states that Collins Dauda deliberately misapplied US$200,000 and in that process caused financial loss to the country.

The Asutifi South MP is accused of making changes to the initial agreement for the housing project without seeking Parliamentary approval.

“Alhaji Collins Dauda, between February 2016 and December 2016 in Accra in the Greater Accra Region you intentionally misapplied the sum of US$200,000 belonging to the government of Ghana by causing the said amount, which had been approved by the Parliament of Ghana for the construction of 5,000 housing units, to be applied towards the payment of 1,412 housing units under the Saglemi Affordable Housing Project,” portions of the statement read.

The four other persons who been charged are Kwaku Agyemang Mensah, Alhaji Ziblim Yakubu, Andrew Clocans and Nouvi Tetteh Angelo.

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Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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