Former CEO of the Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC), Sedina Tamakloe Attionu, has described as palpable falsehood the claims that she inflated the cost for the 350 vehicles imported by the centre for the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU).
She says the claims are attempts to malign and discredit her had won reputation.
"I refute in no uncertain terms these spurious and baseless allegations intended to tarnish my tenure as CEO of MASLOC. I am happy that some officials of the GPRTU have spoken out, of their own volition, to refute the lies of the NPP administration," Tamakloe Attionu said in a statement.
Read her entire statement below;
THE TRUE STORY OF JOHN MAHAMA’S SUPPORT FOR THE GPRTU & PRIVATE TRANSPORTERS
Since exiting office as the Chief Executive of MASLOC on January 7, 2017, several spurious allegations and fabricated stories have been levelled against my tenure.
Some of the claims are so bizarre, one wonders how seemingly productive thought processes were harnessed to put together such outrageously and palpably false figments of imagination.
Over the last few days, the new CEO of MASLOC aided by one Gabby Okyere Darko using the Statesman newspaper and his personal social media handles, have been out and about claiming that three hundred and fifty (350) vehicles acquired by MASLOC have been left abandoned because their intended beneficiaries, the GPRTU, have rejected them since the former management and government inflated the cost of the vehicles to US$2million.
I refute in no uncertain terms these spurious and baseless allegations intended to tarnish my tenure as CEO of MASLOC. I am happy that some officials of the GPRTU have spoken out, of their own volition, to refute the lies of the NPP administration.
Our politics cannot be allowed to continue to be tele-guided by lies and misrepresentations by the followers of the Danquah-Busia tradition. We should do away with such negative and nation-wrecking political manipulations and concentrate, as the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and especially H.E. John Dramani Mahama demonstrated, on nation-building, consistent transformation of our economy and tackling our infrastructural deficit in a manner that will ensure the sustained development of our motherland.
Far from being abandoned because the GPRTU rejected them, the vehicles procured by the NDC’s John Mahama administration through MASLOC are still where they are because after the handing over of the administration of Government and MASLOC, on January 7, 2017, the new management of MASLOC has failed or refused to proceed with the processes towards handing over the vehicles to the GPRTU members.
As Government is a continuum as evidenced by the commissioning of several of President Mahama’s Projects by President Nana Akufo Addo, the onus lay on the current CEO, Mr. Stephen Amoah, to continue the GPRTU project in a seamless manner and take credit for the project, if he so desired.
However, vilification of my tenure has so consumed him that in pursuing that agenda he has failed to stay focused on his job and has ended up exhibiting gross negligence and dereliction of duty. Having been caught pants down, he now seeks to lay blame on my tenure by concocting stories of vilification.
Had the Statesman reporter followed basic journalistic ethics by verifying his information with me before publication, he would have realized that his report was inaccurate.
However, it seems clear that the story was published with the sole aim of ridiculing and tarnishing my tenure and that of the entire Management and staff of MASLOC who served during that period.
MASLOC was governed by a Board comprising persons of high moral character and repute and was chaired by a seasoned Chartered Accountant.
As a professional with over twenty-five years working experience in both the Private and Public Sector, I served my country to the best of my ability with competence, integrity and humility.
1. I urge the general public to disregard the irresponsible and bogus publications by the Daily Guide and Statesman Newspapers.
2. I urge the general public to treat with contempt the reckless, foolhardy comments and tweets by Ibrahim Adjei and Gabby Asare Okyere Darko, both of the Presidency.
3. I urge the general public to treat with scorn the pathetic, fallacious, unprofessional gibberish of Stephen Amoah (CEO of MASLOC) and Maame Afua Akoto (Deputy CEO of MASLOC), which they continue to spew forth.
BELOW ARE SOME FACTS ON THE MASLOC/GPRTU PROJECT AS WELL AS THE ACQUISITION OF TRICYCLES FOR MASLOC:
On October 3, 2017, a publication by the Statesman Newspaper sought to impugne wrongdoing and corruption to my tenure as CEO of MASLOC, with the caption “$2M INFLATED CAR DEAL AT MASLOC – GPRTU snub leaves 350 cars rotting” with my picture and that of a car on the front page of the newspaper stating categorically that vehicles purchased for the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) amounted to US$2,000,000 and as such GPRTU had refused to take up the vehicles for utilization by
This was followed by a Facebook post and Twitter Tweet by Gabby Asare Okyere Darko (of UN General Assembly fame), “This is how govt wastes ya money as tax payer. In 2016, paid $16,000 each for 100 cars when it sells for $9,000 retail” with a photo of the said publication.
My attention has also been drawn to ‘negative’ radio interviews granted by the current CEO of MASLOC, Mr. Stephen Amoah, and the Deputy CEO of MASLOC, Maame Afua
Find below the facts of the MASLOC/GPRTU Project:
• Former President John Dramani Mahama initiated the MASLOC/GPRTU Hire Purchase Programme to assist GPRTU augment its fleet, following a meeting with the leadership of the Union at which they recounted the challenges being faced with accessing funds to revamp their fleet.
• Note that the John Mahama Government had successfully retooled the InterCity STC, augmented the Metro Mass Transit Company’s fleet, and implemented the Bus Rapid Transport system (BRT) and with newly Ayalolo Buses. It was now the turn of the Private Sector - GPRTU would be assisted to acquire 250 (1.3litre) cars for commercial taxis and 100 (33-seater) buses under the MASLOC Vehicle Hire Purchase Programme.
• It is important to state that this process started as far back as May 20, 2016, with a letter from the GPRTU with reference number IV/C.11/SF.3/VOL.6/91, and signed by Mr. Issah M. Khaleepha, GPRTU General Secretary, requesting MASLOC to assist the Union financially to acquire vehicles for their members to replace the old and rickety ones on the roads.
• The letter indicated that the GPRTU were already in talks with MAC Auto & Spare Parts (Gh) Limited for the supply of some vehicles as follows (price is per unit without VAT and NHIL): 100 Chevrolet Spark LITE @ $13,850.00; 150 Chevrolet Aveo @ $15,850.00; 100 IZUZU HB-208 @ $94,800.00.
• It was agreed with the supplier that the quoted prices would be converted to Ghana Cedis at a rate of 4.0ghc to the dollar, and there would be no upward revision of the rate at any time.
• In order to enable the Union acquire the buses under softer financial arrangements in terms of pricing and tax regimes, MASLOC applied through the
Chief of Staff to the Ministry of Finance to waive the taxes and duties on the vehicles.
• A Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the parties on June 8, 2016. A supplementary Memorandum of Understanding reviewing the Principal
Memorandum of Understanding was signed on August 2, 2016, stating that MASLOC would make a 30% down payment with the balance paid in equal
quarterly installments over a period of twenty-four (24) months.
• The Memorandum by GPRTU on the Acquisition of the Vehicles from MAC Auto and Spare Parts Limited financed by MASLOC was signed on August 11, 2016, by their National & Regional Executive and MASLOC. A pricing schedule/ repayment plan was discussed and accepted.
• A letter was written to PPA requesting their approval to single source the vehicles from MAC Auto. MASLOC received a response from the PPA acknowledging the receipt of the letter and requesting MASLOC to provide them with the Financial Arrangements approved by the Ministry of Finance.
• MASLOC had several meetings with the Minister of Finance, Deputy Minister of Finance and Chief Director of Finance on the matter. The Minister for Finance indicated that they would pay 30% of the total amount as deposit; MASLOC would set up a line purchase mechanism to repay that advance and purchase price for the buses; all recoveries would be paid into a revolving fund out of which the supplier would be paid; interest that accrued would be used for subsequent purchases.
• After the launching ceremony, a draft contract agreement was designed by MASLOC and given to the GPRTU for review; GPRTU indicated that they were
satisfied with the contents and were ready for the contract to be signed; GPRTU also informed MASLOC that its members were prepared to make the deposit payment and go through the process of accessing the vehicles.
• Unfortunately, these processes could not be concluded before I exited office on January 7, 2017. Ms. Esther Agbeko who was nominated to act in my stead until a substantive CEO was appointed by President Nana Akuffo Addo, as I have been informed, wrote to brief the new Chief of Staff some time in February 2017 on the GPRTU project to enable MASLOC proceed with the signing of the above contracts and commence the disbursement process.
• The vehicles have remained parked where they were before January 7, 2017, and neither the new CEO nor the Chief of Staff has initiated the processes to have the vehicles released to the GPRTU.
Fellow Ghanaians, wherein lies the truth of the claim that the vehicles have been abandoned because we inflated the prices of the vehicles leading to the rejection of the vehicles by the GPRTU?
Such outright lies, told to cover up the ineptitude and partisan handling of national issues, can only come from depraved minds. No single unit of those vehicles was issued to any GPRTU member, so if as they are planning, they want to deny the Union the vehicles and rather allocate them to identified members of their Party, they should just go ahead instead of dragging the name of H.E. John Dramani Mahama and his appointees at MASLOC in the mud.
May I take this opportunity to react to the baseless and vexatious allegations made against my tenure by Mr. Ibrahim Adjei of the Presidency. He claimed on Metro TV’s Good Morning Ghana program, that I had inflated the price of tricycles for MASLOC by purchasing six hundred (600) tricycles for GHC 17million.
The facts relating to the purchase of the tricycles are as follows:
• In October 2016, Management of MASLOC received approval from its Board to purchase 2,000 tricycles.
• Based on the approval, MASLOC wrote to PPA, requesting to procure the tricycles on the basis of a restricted tender.
• Three companies were submitted to the PPA for approval to undertake this exercise.
• PPA granted approval for the use of restricted tendering for the procurement of the tricycles at a total cost of not more than GHC 17,000,000.00.
• The three companies were asked to tender their bids. The necessary processes were undertaken and the bids were assessed.
• The successful company supplied six hundred (600) tricycles before I exited office. Upon that supply, 40% payment was to have been made to the supplier.
The remaining 1,400 tricycles would also be supplied after which payment would have been made 3-6 months thereafter.
• No payment was made for the supply of the 600 tricycles till I exited office. Fellow Ghanaians, wherein lies the truth of the claim that six hundred (600) tricycles were purchased at GHC17,000,000?
• Can paying GHC17,000,000 for six hundred (600) tricycles be equated to paying GHC17,000,000 for two thousand (2,000) tricycles? NO
• Did MASLOC make any payments on the 600 tricycles delivered during my tenure? NO
• Did MASLOC distribute any of the 600 tricycles delivered during my tenure? NO
To categorically state that MASLOC purchased 600 tricycles for GHC17million and insinuate a corrupt inflated deal is an outright despicable falsehood, reflective of the degenerate mental state of Ibrahim Adjei and his cohorts.
I hereby serve notice that I intend to fearlessly protect my hard-earned reputation.
Sedina Tamakloe Attionu
Former CEO, MASLOC
Presidential candidate hopeful and former NDC MP for La Dadekotopon constituency, Nii Amasah Namoale has described government’s digital addressing system as a laudable initiative.
Speaking to Kwame Tutu on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm he described the addressing system which is expected to kick start in two weeks as a beautiful and one that will ensure economic growth.
According to him, by the addressing system, together with the biometric National ID will help track every citizen in the country and nobody can run away from contributing to the economic growth in the country.
He was responding to UNICEF’s recent report which estimates that Ghana loses about $79 million in revenue due to open defecation.
Though the practice is considered the greatest danger to human health, an estimated 1.1 billion people in developing countries, including Ghana, ease themselves outdoors.
He said every household should have a toilet due to the new addressing system to be implemented.
He further suggested that households that are unable to construct their own toilets, could be assisted by the assemblies within their jurisdictions and cost spread over some years so they will pay in installments.
In his view, when this is done, it will help end open defecation and prevent the country from loosing revenue to the menace, he added.
Those who violate the law he said should be prosecuted so it will deter others from doing same.
Ghana also loses over 290 million dollars yearly due to poor sanitation. The money is the cost of spending on clearing huge refuse within cities and health care spending as a result of sanitation related disease outbreaks among others.
Also, five out of six Ghanaians representing 85 percent of the population do not have access to proper sanitation.
The sanitation problem in the country he noted has to do with attitudinal change, education and effective assemblies.
He called for an effective education and awareness and admonished the various assemblies to up their game.
A former chairman, finance committee for the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Captain (rtd) Kwadjo Butah has advised politicians to take their exercise very serious in order to keep fit all the time.
The seventy-seven year-old golfer who was the former president of Achimota Golf Club opined that, golf should be the best sporting activity for politicians because it is a game which an eighty year old can even take part in their own pace.
He was emphatic that politicians must not stay in their air-conditioning offices but step out regularly to stay fit so they will be able to govern.
According to him, regular exercising will help them control weight, reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, reduce risk of other diseases, strengthen their bones and muscles as well as improve their mental health and physical wellbeing.
The job of politicians he noted requires strength and agility hence the need for them to dedicate enough time in exercising for them to stay safe and halthy.
The 2017 best teacher award receiver Madam Faustina Thompson has said her pupils are going to be extremely excited for the honours done her.
The 41 year-old teacher who has been teaching for the past 17 years was adjudged the best teacher at the 2017 World Teachers Day.
She was awarded with a 3-Bedroom House which will be constructed at a place of her choice sponsored by the Ghana Education Service, and a GHC 50.000 life Insurance from SIC Life Insurance Company.
Speaking to Kwame Tutu on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm, she said she become excited and dump-founded after her name was mentioned as the best teacher.
She described her teaching experience as an excitement which she enjoys doing every single day.
Madam Faustina Thompson started teaching at the Gbewenu DC Primary where she taught four years, then moved to the 28 February Road Primary school where she taught for five years and was transferred to the Richard Akwei Memorial School where she’s been teaching for the past three years.
‘’I love and enjoy what I do. I love it and feel proud of myself. I am comfortable in the classroom,’’ she said.
The Judicial Service Staff Association of Ghana (JUSSAG), has threatened to declare a strike if government continues to delay the payment of rent allowances for its members.
President of JUSSAG Alex Nartey in an interview with Kwame Tutu said the outstanding allowance has been in arrears since January 2017.
According to him, if government fails to make the payment on or before October 19, 2017, the leadership of the Association will be forced to declare the industrial action to demand what is due JUSAG members.
Mr. Nartey indicated that the rent allowance entitled members is explicitly stated in their conditions of service, and has received approval of the Judicial Council. This allowance has been outstanding since January 2017, and all efforts to receive payment have not yielded the needed response.
He warned that if their conditions are not met by October 19, they will embark on a strike action which they are enjoined to embark on.
He said they were told that they do not deserve the rent allowance adding, ‘’they think we don’t deserve the rent allowance. The Chief Director at the Finance Ministry wrote to us saying we do not deserve to receive rent allowance. Should we go and sleep in kiosks? The cancellation has infuriated our members.
He said the rent allowance which comprises 20 percent of their annual salary is handed over to them quarterly.
The Northern Development Authority Bill 2017 which seeks to provide a framework for accelerated socio- economic development of the Northern , Upper East and Upper West regions was taken through the Second reading stage in Parliament yesterday [Thursday].
The bill which when passed into an Act will replace the Savannah Development Authority Act (Act 805 of 2010).
Minority Leader Hon. Haruna Iddrisu commenting on the move commended government for taking that bold initiative in ensuring that the developmental gaps between the three regions in the north and the south are bridged and poverty levels reduced to the barest minimum.
“Mr. Speaker, I also note and commendable that government is walking the talk per the manifesto on the infrastructure for poverty alleviation program where the NPP campaigned that it will restructure SADA. So, if this is the restructuring of SADA, it is welcome,” he noted.
He was however quick to cautioned government not to only rely on the Consolidated Fund as the main source of funding for the proposed projects and programs captured under the Bill since it may collapse.
“Mr. Speaker, my primary concern is the sustainability of the financing mechanism. That worries my heart. If you have a Bill on the Northern Development Authority and is dependent on the Consolidated Fund, dependent of the pleasure of the Minister of Finance, I see no commitment to bridging the gap between the north and the south.
He (Minister of Finance) will come back here (Parliament) and report the same budgetary constraints, report of same lack of fiscal space – that is why in the SADA law, specifically, on sources of funding, there was a dedicated petroleum receipt.
So, if you have not worked it, consider it and I am sure when it comes to consideration stage, we will forcefully, on this side, urge that there is earmark in other that with no uncertainty, all the development strategies and how the development plan will be financed but certainly not on the Consolidated Fund because that is unreliable and unsustainable,” he said.
He added: ‘’ “Undoubtedly, the SADA Act, Act 805 of 2010, represents watershed of a legislation committed to it. I admit that there are governance and management problems in the execution but the problem is not with the legislation.
I am able to find problems with its management; I am able to find problems with its governance; I am able to find problems with its abusers of public resources but I do not see a defect in the SADA Act.’’
The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has charged the Ministry of Roads and Highways to speed up work on the construction of the 109 kilometre Bolgatanga to Bawku Road. On Thursday, 5th October, 2017, day 2 of his tour of the Upper East Region, President Akufo-Addo paid a working visit to the construction site to see at first-hand the progress of work on the road, and also to interact with officials of Queiroz Galvao, the company in-charge of the construction. Briefing the President on the work done so far, officials and resident engineers of Queiroz Galvao indicated that the project was a 109 kilometre one, with construction works on 25 kilometres of the stretch completed, with some 84 kilometres of the road still to be done. Acknowledging that the road project was behind schedule, the Queiroz Galvao officials attributed the slow progress of work to delays in the payment of certificates lodged at the Ministry of Roads and Highways. The sector Minister, Hon. Kwasi Amoako-Atta, MP, who accompanied the President on the inspection, told President Akufo-Addo that the delay in honouring payments to the contractors is due to the numerous irregularities the contract is fraught with. Nonetheless, he revealed that $100 million had so far been paid to the contractors. Delving into the contract awarded to Queiroz Galvao, Hon. Kwasi Amoako-Atta noted that the contract was awarded to the Brazilian construction company on 7th December, 2016, the same day Ghanaians went to the polls to elect a new President. The contract, the Minister added, was awarded through a process of sole sourcing, in breach of the Public Procurement Act, explaining that contracts of such magnitude have to be awarded through a competitive bidding process, to ensure value for money. As though this was not enough, the Minister added that payment certificates, as contained in the contract, are to be paid from the Road Fund, which is wholly inappropriate for road contracts of such magnitude. This, he said, is the reason why payments have delayed. “The magnitude of this contract requires that payments be effected directly from the budget, i.e., the Ministry of Finance, and not from the Road Fund. The Road Fund was established to provide a secure source of funding for the preservation of Ghana’s road network, and not for the payment of big constructions such as this,” he added. Again, Hon. Kwasi Amoako-Atta noted that 13.1 kilometres of the road had been subcontracted to another construction company, making the contract even murkier. “As at August 2017, 22% of the road should have been completed. But as at now, only 14% has been completed. Discussions are ongoing with the Ministry of Finance in an attempt to migrate the project from one whose payment is dependent on the Road Fund to one from the Government of Ghana treasury,” he added. Visibly disturbed with the developments, President Akufo-Addo described the Bolgatanga-Bawku road as “one of the most important stretches of road in our country”, adding that the disastrous nature in which the road finds itself means construction would have to move at a faster pace. The President urged the Minister of Roads and Highways to “sit down with them [the contractors] and find a workable solution that will inure to the benefit of residents who ply this road on a daily basis, and ultimately, to the benefit of all Ghanaians. This is one of the most important roads in Ghana,” he added. Prior to inspecting works on the Bolgatanga-Bawku road, President Akufo-Addo visited the Vea Irrigation Project in Bolgatanga. The Project, which is one of the two irrigation projects under the management of the Irrigation Company of Upper East Region, has a potential irrigable area of about 1,500ha, with the area currently developed to some 850ha. The project, also, through the Vea/Gowrie Treatment Plant, serves as a source of potable water for residents of Bolgatanga.
The Vice President of the Republic, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has stated that government is focused on building the productive capacities of Ghanaians in order to build a robust economy.
Dr. Bawumia observed that countries such as the United States of America, Canada, Singapore, South Korea and Mauritius among others have become models for developing nations because they made a concerted effort to develop the technological, intellectual and institutional capacities of their people.
He asserts that Africa has continued to suffer economic setbacks due to exploitation, failure to utilise export revenues for industrialisation and the lack of interest to improve the standard of education. He notes these among others contributed to a non-resilient, weak and undiversified economy.
“From the time of independence, we inherited a colonial economy. Our production system, infrastructural development and transport network, banking services, and even our education system were all organized to serve colonial needs and excluded the majority of the population.”
The Akufo-Addo government is therefore implementing policies to effect a paradigm shift from the past where the majority were excluded from fully participating in the economy or realising their full potential.
“What we have learnt from our past and the lessons from others worldwide must inform our paths to building a stronger, resilient, and inclusive economy. The idea of inclusion is critical. It represents a paradigm shift from the past where most of our population were excluded from fully participating in the economy or realising their full potential.
“Our view, as a government is that if you exclude most of your population in the manner we have done in the past, you will not be able to build a strong economy except for a few” Dr. Bawumia stated at the 3rd Advancement Lecture Series of the University of Cape Coast on Wednesday, September 04, 2017.
The lecture series was on the theme: “Developing stronger economies for the African continent: the missing link.”
The surest means to ensure inclusion, Dr Bawumia argues, is by educating majority of the population. “Our approach to building a stronger economy must begin with the ambition and commitment to intensify the development of our human capabilities. The recently introduced Free SHS signals government’s determination to ensure that the greatest number of our young people gain access to pre-university education.
“Education for all is imperative in a world of rapid technological innovations. It is inconceivable that children should be denied access to education at the early age of 12 simply because of their financial circumstances. Enriching our human capital must begin early if the young are to develop their skills of work, gain knowledge and deepen their thinking and creative skills for enterprise and innovations,” Dr. Bawumia said.
He added: “It is also for this same rationale that we are restoring the teacher and nursing training allowances this month and next.
“Another essential part of the inclusion agenda is the issue of an address system. We are going to launch a digital addressing system for Ghana in about two weeks. Our address system, which I believe will be the most advanced in the world, will make it possible to locate every person in Ghana. Even if you are standing in the middle of the Oti river, we can locate you” Dr Bawumia added.
Dr. Bawumia also mentioned policies such as the Planting for Food and Jobs, One District One Factory, One Village One Dam, issuance of a national ID card, making it easier to obtain passports and drivers licenses or register businesses, and the paperless port system, as being part of the overall inclusion agenda to build the productive capacity of the Ghanaian economy.