‘Empty Barrel’ President


-Seeks to take the specks out of his predecessor’s eyes

–As he exonerates himself of corruption

President Akufo-Addo yesterday launched a needless castigation attack on former President John Mahama and his administration on all sector of the economy but urged Ghanaians to applaud him for his unimpressive one-year term in office.

According to him, his government for the last 12 months outperformed the four years of John Mahama and that, it took his administration to pay and continue to pay contractors’ debts left behind by the John Mahama regime.

Additionally, Akufo-Addo said investigations by his administration has uncovered that some of the contracts were inflated while others were non-existent.

Addressing journalists at the Flagstaff House Wednesday, as he marked one year in office, the President alleged that, his government paid a whopping sum of GHC1.6 billion to contractors last year.

“I am being urged to pay contractors, I am paying them. Last year some GHC1.6 billion was paid to them. This year too, payments have started and we will pay them. We have found out some of the contracts were inflated while others were non existent,” he said.

Sounding very evasive in his answers to the media, the President also claimed that his  administration has saved the nation about GHc782 million from sole sourcing and restricted tendering processes by the Mahama regime  within its first year in government.

Labeling what he called a “good story to tell” following his first year in office, Akufo- Addo further claimed that the gains made on this front were evidence of his government’s ability to rise to the challenge to turn around the country’s fortunes.

While seeking for avenue to vilify the former NDC administration, as he compared his first year in office to the final year of the Mahama government, President Akufo-Addo alleged that,  “the Public Procurement Authority in the year 2016 had “622 sole source requests. 577 of that number were approved and there were 25 rejections.”

“There were 592 requests made for restricted tenders, and 587 were approved and there were five rejections. A grand total of zero savings were made through the procurement process,” he alleged.

“But in 2017, 394 sole sourcing requests were made out of which 223 were approved and 171 were rejected. There were 346 requested for restricted tenders and 167 were approved and 179 were rejected,” the President stated.

He continued, “Now, here is the interesting part. The savings made over the year, as a result, amounted to GHc145 million, $142 million, €1.8 million and £22,400… you cannot argue with figures and such figures surely open up the incentive to open up government procurement.”

Nana Akufo-Addo further claimed that besides this, the Ghana Institute of Procurement and Supply indicated that the country lost of GHc100 million through various unethical procurement practices in 2015.

“The Auditor General’s annual reports have in the past noted that about 80 percent of procurement malpractices are centred around sole sourcing.”

As if the blatant attack on Mahama was not enough, President Akufo-Addo also bragged that his administration has been more serious with the fight against corruption in the public sector than the Mahama government.

He believed that, his commitment to fighting corruption could be seen in his firm actions on allegations of corruption against some of his appointees than that of former President Mahama.

Despite the numerous non-investigated cases of corruption, ranging from Kendbond $2.25billion, BOST contaminated fuel, Two Deputy Chiefs of Staff, Cash for Seat, which is now under investigation, Bugri Naabu and OtikoDjaba, among others, President Akufo Addo still bragged before the Media that he was the only President much interested in ensuring that no member of his administration is corrupt.

In his whitewashing speech before the press he said, “It is important to note that in my first year of office, two separate bipartisan probes have been established to inquire into allegations of corruption as against zero in the Mahama years despite the persistent calls by the then minority.”

“I have a greater interest in my appointees not being corrupt than any critic could possibly have. Try me, produce evidence to back the allegation, and see what the reaction will be,” he further bragged.

In his view, all allegations of corruption against his appointees that had been fully investigated, proved the appointees not guilty and chided people he described as “politically motivated” for their consistent attack on the government as being corrupt, although all such allegations have not been substantiated.

“So far, every single act of alleged corruption labelled against any member of my administration has been, or is in the process of being investigated by independent bodies and the findings so far made public.

They have all been investigated and no evidence has been produced to suggest the perpetration of any act of corruption. However, some people appear determined to stick to their politically motivated view that there has been corruption,” Akufo-Addo said.

“We should be careful about the new trend that appears to be emerging whereby any allegation, no matter how spurious gains the character of a scandal or an act of corruption even when it is shot down,” he claimed.

Touching on the recent appointment of former Attorney General, Martin Alamisi Amidu, who tagged himself as “Citizen Vigilante” as the first Special Prosecutor to tackle issues of corruption among public officials, Nana Akufo-Addo said.

“I do not expect that he [Martin Amidu will provide all the answers for dealing with the phenomenon of corruption by public officials, but I do believe that at the least, the office will remove the fear of partisan prosecution and put the fear of God in all public officials who are intending to go on the path of corruption, he said.



Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/ Felix Engsalige Nyaaba

The Republic News Online

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