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Opinions Sun, 27 Sep 2009

Rot at Ghana Irrigation Development Authority?

received the attached mail in my inbox three days ago from one Salifu, who styles himself “sincerely worried farmers’ representative.

Ordinarily, I would have regarded it as something lacking substance by one who wants to attain cheap popularity, but on reflection, I felt I would be doing a great injustice to hard-working Ghanaians whose contributions go a long way sustain the system. Thus, any attempt to cover up corrupt practices or malfeasance would be detrimental to our collective will aimed at ensuring that accountability thrives at all facets of the country’s economy. I have therefore taken the bold decision to bring this matter to the peoples’ domain with the belief that the relevant agencies will take up the matter and carry out the necessary investigations. In view of the fact that some top ranking officials of the Irrigation Development Authority are alleged to be involved in this shady deal, I have done the most logical thing by deliberately ‘blotting out’ their names. However, I make a promise to supply such names on request.

Rot at Ghana Irrigation Development Authority? You’ve got to believe it!

Water is evidently the most vital element in a plant’s life. Irrigation allows farmers to crop twice or thrice a year. It is therefore sad for Government to source for money to rehabilitate some of the existing irrigation, only for some greedy, selfish and egocentric officials at the Head Office to award contracts to themselves or their cronies, without thinking of the repercussions their action will have on their fellow citizens and the country as a whole. Isn’t it strange for a contractor to win a contract bid without knowing the site he/she is supposed to work but has to go to the regions to find out the locations of such projects? The normal thing is that the contractors have to go to the sites to inspect the projects to know what and what are involved including the amount to be expended on the project. It is only after doing this that one can put in a bid for the project.

But in this case, the contracts have already been awarded and some of the winners don’t know the exact location of the projects and so have to go to the regions to make further enquiries.

The ongoing rehabilitation of old projects across the country needs careful scrutiny. How were the contracts awarded? How many contractors submitted bids and who and who constituted the committee that processed the entire bidding process? Do we have the minutes of the committee’s deliberations? Upon what basis were the winners selected over others? Can we also know the competence level of the winners? Are the winners genuine contractors? If they are not, who are they fronting for? If they are genuine, when were their companies incorporated? These are legitimate questions the overworked and paltry-paid workers of the Authorities would want answers to.

There is documentary evidence that some high ranking officers at the Head-Office have ‘closed the mouth’ of a clerk who is a strong TUC executive member by ‘dashing’ him some of the contracts, a vehicle and fuel to supervise those contracts at the various sites.

If you doubt it, here are some facts.

The ongoing Golinga Irrigation Project is being rehabilitated by one A==== (a five-lettered word) who happens to be a clerk at GIDA Headquarters in Accra. Does the name ARAMAL ENTERPRISE LIMITED ring a bell? If it doesn’t, please, hold your breath and you will soon know. This is the name of the company that top officials of the authority are using to outbox, outwit, outsmart, outdo and deny genuine contractors their legitimate rights to participating in a level playing ground bidding system.

If you are still not convinced, please, turn your attention to another irrigation project at Kpando-Torkor and you will be shocked at the can of worms that is taking and has already taken place there.

Some contractors in both the Volta and Upper East Regions have stated publicly to my hearings and others that they are working or is it fronting for one, Mr. L====== (a seven-lettered word) a top executive at Headquarters and one Doctor with a seven lettered word as his name.

Sincerely worried farmers representative, Salifu.

Submitted by: Daniel Danquah Damptey.

Danieldanquah_damptey@yahoo.com

Columnist: Damptey, Daniel Danquah