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Opinions Mon, 28 Dec 2015

This is outrageous, Mr. President!

By Cletus D Kuunifaa

The public outcry over the rebranding deal has resulted in the resignation of the sector Minister.

Chief of Staff directed a review into the deal and has also charged the Attorney General and Minister of Justice to recover GHC1.9 million from Messrs Smartty’s Management Limited as he termed it “excess payment made for the services rendered” reports Ghanweb. Investigations into the busses incidence appear to be ‘small fish’ considering other deals in recent times. One is just wondering if same investigation could target the ‘bigger fishes’ in the shallow waters right within sight!

Isn’t it absolutely balderdash for Power Minister to suggest that the Ameri plant deal is the cheapest the country has ever engaged in? Ghana is duped big time if the Ameri deal is the cheapest of all deals as alleged by the beleaguered minister. The issue of the Ameri Power deal and that of the rebranding of the buses are issues bordering on corruption and the failure to ensure value for money for the people of Ghana. Indeed, both issues border on causing financial loss to the state. Therefore, it comes across as very stupid if a minister is suggesting that “if you set an exam and somebody gets 99 percent, is it not possible to say the person has done extremely well?” How good has the candidate fared in this case except mistrust, dishonesty, misrepresentation of facts, and disloyalty to Ghanaians?

As stated, in this deal, Ghana is basically purchasing 10 Gas Power Plants for $510 million even though the same Plants can be acquired for 220 million dollars on the market. The government in this deal contracted a middle man – Ameri – who also contracted another middleman – METKA to purchase the Plants from the original manufacturers, General Electric, though the government is clearly aware that General Electric are the manufacturers and Ghana could have purchased the plants directly from them. Why did government fail to purchase the Power Plants from either General Electric or METKA, since it is clear even from the Ameri Agreement that these two companies could have offered Ghana, a far cheaper alternative?

His Excellency, doubling of cash in a contract deal is a bad deal. Any government official having reached this point in a contract delivers a bad deal. Surely, the Ameri Group contract would have been well intended and targeted to deal with the power crisis, but if ordinary folks like us are worried about the modus operandi of the contract smack of shortchanging Ghana, then it is about time a full scale investigation was launched into this alleged dubious contract. We also demand Power minister to proof to all Ghanaians that he has not caused financial loss to the state.

And to add insults to injury, instead of him humbly requesting from Ghanaians to temper mercy with insanity in this deal or at best planning his exit strategy, he still got the guts to be spewing out what he is spewing. Who does he take Ghanaians for?

Past and present governments have dealt leniently with cases like this one and officials have resigned and gone away with the alleged booty to squander. Things must change for the better. In situations like this one, officials need to be investigated and tried in a court of law and if established that they caused financial loss to the state, they should be made to refund the monies and still serve jail terms.

If His excellency wants to leave a positive legacy and become a hero, the right thing must be done. Dr. Hilla Liman of blessed memory was pathetically and unnecessarily tagged as a weak president. So was the late Vice President Aliu Mahama viewed as a nonentity. In the light of these mischaracterizations, President must exert his authority in these dubious situations and let heads roll, while damming all the consequences.

For the records, your era, excellency, has witnessed the establishment of massive gas infrastructure at Atuabo in the Western Region that has ushered Ghana into an era of energy diversification never before witnessed in Ghana. And the numerous power projects under construction during your era designed to substantially increase the energy generation capacity of Ghana and to permanently fix the problem of power outages in Ghana will truly be appreciated by Ghanaians as they begin to come on stream. This, I believe, you would not allow any self-serving politician to obliterate your vision for the country through bad deals. You have a challenge to do the right thing to leave the positive legacy that we all expect you to leave behind.

Cletus D Kuunifaa

TMC Group

Can be contacted at dipnibe@yahoo.com or follow him on twitter @ckuunifaa

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Columnist: Kuunifaa, Cletus D.