I listened to President John Mahama speak on corruption yesterday and I felt sad. For once, I sympathised with him. I think someone is not telling him the truth. I am tempted to believe the President is sincerely ignorant about the scale of the problem on his hands. If he knew, he would stop rejecting corruption perception reports and accept the CORRUPTION REALITY INDEX we seem to be topping.
A top foreign diplomat recently told me and half a dozen journalists that he loved Ghana but the corruption in the country was getting out of hand. I have since been thinking whether my president knows what I know. And whether he knows what foreigners in Ghana know.
The President announced that about GH20million had been retrieved as a result of my investigative work on GYEEDA. He directed that the remaining GHc40million should be retrieved before the end of the year. On November 15,2013, he said the following:
“I have instructed the Minister for Justice and Attorney-General, EOCO and the Minister of Finance to work with the Minister for Youth and Sports to achieve the following by 31st December 2013: a. Secure refunds of monies wrongfully paid to or appropriated by any individuals or companies from contracts with SADA, GYEEDA, and the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and to retrieve monies wrongfully paid to Waterville and Isofoton.”
Two years after the ultimatum expired, he is issuing the same instructions. I suppose the money we have retrieved so far is from the interest-free loans given to some companies involved in the GYEEDA Scandal.
The interest-free loans from Roland Agambire’s AGAMS Group are not the only money we are supposed to retrieve from the GYEEDA Scandal. Joseph Siaw Agyapong’s Jospong Group of Companies (Zoomlion and Better Ghana Management Services) is supposed to refund over GHc140 million). With GYEEDA and SADA, we are supposed to take over GHc100 million from some companies belonging to Roland Agambire.
For instance, RLG trained less than one-third of the youth the company was engaged to train in ICT in 2013. RLG was paid GHc25.5million cedis. What has happened to that money and others which companies such as Asongtaba was paid but did not do any work? Has anybody taken time to read the Ministerial Committee’s report on GYEEDA? Or the Auditor-General’s report of 2013 on GYEEDA and SADA?
I have said it before, and I will say it again: I don’t know why companies belonging to Roland Agambire and Joseph Siaw Agyapong are still winning government contracts when almost all major corruption scandals in this country in recent times involved their companies — SUBAH, GYEEDA, SADA? The World Bank blacklisted Zoomlion from bidding for its contract because of issues that can be considered as minor when compared to what Zoomlion and some of its sister companies such as Better Ghana are doing here in Ghana.
The president, ministers of state and other government officials keep taking credit for the National Service investigations. Let me place on record that the National Service investigations was not initiated by the President as Dr. Omane Boamah and other government officials want us to believe. It was initiated by the current National Security Coordinator, according to my sources. It was a personal encounter he had, which alarmed him and he asked the BNI to probe.
Top sources within the security agencies have told me that when the BNI started the investigation and the rot started unfolding, some government officials wanted to stifle it. The only way to proceed was to leak the information to the media. So the BNI deliberately leaked the story to the Daily Graphic. Once it became a public issue, the unseen hands could not hold on it further. I know the BNI conducts many such investigations into state agencies and departments and submits the reports to the presidency and other state agencies. They don’t often leak it.
If the President initiated the National Service Scheme investigation and supported the BNI, I don’t know which official would be powerful enough to impede and frustrate the BNI to a point when they had to leak it to the media.
The President can win the battle against corruption if he wants to. But, so far, he is only pretending to be fighting it. And I still doubt if he knows the full picture.