The Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC), under the Office of the President, has been embroiled in a fresh corruption scandal.
MASLOC, which is a microfinance apex body responsible for implementing the government’s pro-poor credit scheme, recently awarded a contract for the supply of 1,000 motor tricycles to the tune of a whopping GH¢10,000,000.00.
It means that the NDC government, led by President John Mahama, who is seeking a re-election on Wednesday, is charging the taxpayer GH¢10,000 per tricycle when on the open market it is sold for GH¢5,000.
The contract was awarded on November 7, 2016 – just one month to the crucial general election – even though the Chief Executive Officer of MASLOC, Sedinam Tamakloe Attionu, had written to the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) as far back as May 4, 2016 for approval.
DAILY GUIDE learnt that three companies were given the contract to supply the tricycles and they were all said to be sole-sourced.
Documents showed that Crisjoe Company Limited, Spell Trust Limited and IEL Logistics Limited were the beneficiaries of MASLOC’s alleged inflated contract.
A letter written by Sedinam to the Chief Executive Officer of the PPA titled, “Request for approval to purchase vehicles using the restricted tendering,” said it formed part of MASLOC’s poverty alleviation agenda.
“The centre is by this application seeking the approval under Section 38 of the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663) and Amendment Act 914 to apply the restricted tendering method to procure specialized motorized tricycles,” the letter stated.
MASLOC then went ahead to list the three companies and described them as “reputable organizations duly registered in Ghana and have fulfilled their tax obligations.”
The letter indicated, “They are the only companies with these types of motors locally available and designed for passenger services.”
MASLOC also stated that “the urgency of the need for these motor tricycles limits our ability to source for other companies internationally,” adding, “The bucket sizes are bigger and this fulfills the requirements of our clients.
“On the open market, a tricycle is GH¢5,000. MASLOC, just last week presented a sole-sourced contract to the National Procurement Authority to buy 1,000 tricycles for GH¢10,000,000! This means government has doubled the cost of one; when buying a thousand should even attract a bulk purchase discount,” a source said.