GH1.170 million gone missing under Communications Ministry

Madam Ursula Owusu, Minister of Communications

The Herald has uncovered massive rot at the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC), following undercover investigations conducted at the state institution, which is under the Communications Ministry.

This paper’s investigations, unearthed procurement breaches and conflict of interest situations at GIFEC, leading to the loss of a whopping amount of GHc1. 170 million, paid to some four companies for no work done.

The loss occurred in September 2017, when GIFEC, which has the Minister of Communications, Ursula Owusu, as its Board Chairperson, awarded a GHC4 million supply contract to the four companies, through a shady procurement process.

The companies, A comp Service Limited, Energonex Limited, Prudmen Company Limited and Power World Limited, were to supply some 2,000 Wewi brand Solar Laptops at a cost of GHC4 million, but two years have passed and not even a single computer, has been delivered to the offices of GIFEC, which is headed by Abraham Kofi Asante.

In line with the contract terms, a total of GHC1. 170 million was paid to the four suppliers as an advance mobilization, however, for two years, not a single computer, has been supplied by any of the four companies, leaving behind speculations that the money might have been cashed and shared by the various actors in the transaction.

Interestingly, documents obtained from the Registrar General’s Department revealed multiple connections between the companies. The directors are either the same or the companies share the same addresses, with the same insurance company, guaranteeing the transactions.

For instance, Prudmen Company Limited has Sedorfia Kudzo Ahorsu and Jason Akuetteh Addo as its directors, while Power World Limited,= has Sariel Adobea Entwire and Andrew Kobina Etwire as its directors.

Interestingly, Energone-X Limited has Sedofia Kudzo Ahorsu and Andrew Kobina Entwire as directors, meaning the beneficiaries of the GH4 million supply contract knew themselves.

The dates of the incorporation of the companies were also suspicious. Some appeared backdated.

The contract documents, copies of which are in the possession of The Herald, clearly stated in clause 5 that, the goods should be delivered to the GIFEC office within 8 weeks after signing of the contract.

Failure to deliver within the stated period shall attract a sum 0.5percent of the contract price of the delayed goods for each week of delay, until final delivery up to a maximum deduction of 10percent of the delayed goods contract price.

Instructively, the contracts require that once the maximum deduction of 10percent is reached, the purchaser should consider termination of the arrangement.

Curiously, this arrangement has not been adhered to by the GIFEC management, raising serious eyebrows about the complicity of the management led by Abraham Kofi Asante, in the whole process.

Background investigations done by The Herald on the companies, present very interesting revelations. They appear to be one and the same company with insignificant differences.

For instance, the dates covering the Insurance Bonds supporting the bids of the four companies are the same with the similar validity periods and expiration. The bond came from Donewell Insurance Company Limited and valid from September 22, 2017, to December 21, 2017.

Strangely, all the four companies, have not since September 2017, been able to supply their computers, raising further suspicions about the coincidence. It is not clear, if GIFEC, made any effort to get its GHC1.170 million back from Donewell Insurance Company per the Insurance Guarantees provided the companies.

For instance, Prudmen Limited had obtained a GHC364, 500, 00 from Donewell Insurance Company per the Insurance Guarantees provided the companies. Energone –X Limited, also got GHC337, 500.00 Insurance Guarantee from Donewell Insurance.

A Comp Service Limited, which has Aaron Kwaku Oduro, Mardea Neehwor Oduro, as directors and George Brown-Tetteh and the Shareholders as Aaron Kwaku Oduro and George Brown-Tetteh, also got Insurance Guarantee from Donewell Insurance. This company was also paid GHC558, 000.00 as contract sum.

Receipts issued by some of the companies have also been seen by The Herald acknowledging the payments.

But the failure on the part of all four companies to supply laptops further supports accusations that someone or a group of people, had conspired to siphon money from state coffers into their private pockets.

Further investigations suggest, insider dealings during the procurement process, therefore, the basic due diligence that were to be carried out, were deliberately ignored all in a bid to select these companies owned by the same individuals.

It was reported that the officer-in-charge of Procurement, one Abednego Mingle, raised issues with the transaction, but was ignored by management.

Additional documents available to The Herald revealed that one Abraham Kofi Asante on the same day; August 21, 2017, wrote to all the companies accepting the prices they had quoted in their tender documents which were also coincidentally dated July 25, 2017.

The July 25, 2017, document showed Energone-X, got paid GHC843, 750.00 by Abraham Kofi Asante.

Ideally, the solar computer should have been piloted to appreciate how it works, quality and fit for purpose. But this was not done ahead of the transaction, leading to the procurement of the 2000 pieces.

Indeed, technicians at the GIFEC, are said not to have had any contact with the solar Laptop computers, hence would be found wanting in the event of technical challenges.

Details of the companies awarded GHC4 million include;

A COMP SERVICES LTD

Directors: 1. AARON KWAKU ODURO

MARDEA NEEHWOR ODURO Secretary: GEORGE BROWN- TETTEH

Shareholders: 1. AARON KWAKU ODURO

GEORGE BROWN- TETTEH

POWERWORLD LIMITED

Directors: 1. ANDREW KOBINA ETWIRE

SARIEL ADOBEA ETWIRE GILBERT CARSON

Secretary: SARIEL ADOBEA ETWIRE

Shareholders: 1. ANDREW KOBINA ETWIRE

SARIEL ADOBEA ETWIRE

ENERGONEX LIMITED

Directors: 1. ANDREW KOBINA ETWIRE

SEDOFIA KUDZO AHORSU

Secretary: STANLEY SELASIE KWESI KPLEMI

Shareholders: 1. ANDREW KOBINA ETWIRE

SEDOFIA KUDZO AHORSU

PRUDMEN COMPANY LIMITED

Directors: 1. SEDOFIA KUDZO AHORSU

JASON AKUETTEH ADDO

Secretary: JASON AKUETTEH ADDO

Shareholders: 1. SEDOFIA KUDZO AHORSU

JASON AKUETTEH ADDO

More to come!

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