Former Chief Executive for the Micro-finance and Small Loans Center (MASLOC) Sedina Tamakloe Ationu, has broken her silence on claims that she had used her tenure to acquire some 350 cars for the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) at inflated prices which has led to an abandonment of the cars by the GPRTU.
In a statement she rubbished the claims as propagandist and totally untrue.
In the same statement, she also addressed the issue of supposed 600 tricycles that she bought at an incredible cost of Ghc17million while in charge at MASLOC, calling the allegation a fallacy.
“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,” she wrote.
Far from being abandoned because the GPRTU rejected them, Mrs. Ationu said, the vehicles procured by the John Mahama administration through MASLOC are still where they are because of the ineptitude of the new MASLOC CEO, Stephen Amoah.
Instead of proceeding with the process to hand over the vehicles to the GPRTU, Mr. Amoah has rather taken to throwing dirt from his office, a thing that has since led to the impression that the NPP government wants to muddy the waters so that they can share the cars to surrogate groups of the ruling party.
“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,” Sedina Tamakloe Ationu said.
She has since served facts to deodorize what she said was mischief that the NPP government has kicked up over the issue using tabloids like the Daily Guide and the Statesman.
According to Mrs. Ationu, Former President John Dramani Mahama initiated the MASLOC/GPRTU Hire Purchase Programme purposed to assist GPRTU augment its fleet.
The program had come about following a meeting with the leadership of the GPRTU at which they had recounted the challenges being faced with accessing funds to revamp their fleet.
Apparently, President Mahama who had retooled the Inter City STC, augmented the Metro Mass Transit Company’s fleet, and implemented the Bus Rapid Transport system (BRT) along with new fleet of Ayalolo Buses felt it was the turn of the Private Sector to receive assistance.
GPRTU was to be assisted to acquire 250 (1.3litre) cars for conversion into 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,” Mrs. Tamakloe Ationu said.
She explained that 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 taxes and duties on the vehicles.
A Memorandum of Understanding, she said, was signed by the parties on June 8, 2016, with a subsequent supplementary MoU reviewing the Principal MoU 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/ re- payment plan was discussed and accepted, she added.
“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.”
However, these processes could not be concluded before the NDC exited office on January 7, 2017. Following Mrs Tamakloe Ationu’s exit from the CEO job, one Ms. Esther Agbeko who was nominated to act in my stead until a substantive CEO was appointed by President Nana Akuffo Addo is said to have written wrote to brief the new Chief of Staff in February on the GPRTU project to enable MASLOC proceed with the signing of the contracts and commence the disbursement process.
For some reasons however, 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,” Mrs. Tamakloe Ationu said.
Among the squad perpetrating is seen to be a choreography of lies against the former MASLOC CEO are Gabby Asare Otchere Darko, alleged bribe demander at the Flagstaff House who has denigrating the woman on twitter, Ibrahim Adjei also of the bribery brigade at the Flagstaff House and the new CEO of MASALOC Stephen Amoah.
Others are Maame Afua Akoto (Deputy CEO of MASLOC), the Daily Guide and the New Statesman, both well known tabloids belonging to the ruling NDC.
The same squad has also alleged that Mrs. Tamakloe Ationu bought some 600 tricycles at an incredible cost of Ghc17,000,000. Mrs. Ationu has described the claims as “foolhardy.”
Again, on this issue, she presented facts which exposed the allegations as false.
In the matter of the Tricycles, Ibrahim Adjei of the Presidency is said to have claimed on Metro TV’s Good Morning Ghana program, that the former CEO had inflated the price of tricycles for MASLOC by purchasing six hundred (600) tricycles for GHC 17million.
However, the facts show that it is rather 2,000 tricycles that had been budgeted to be purchased at the amount, buty even though the process had been started by Mrs. Tamakloe Ationu, it had not been completed before she left office.
Consequently, not a pesewa was paid over the tricycles.
In October 2016, Management of MASLOC had received approval from its Board to purchase 2,000 tricycles. Based on the approval, MASLOC had written to PPA, requesting to procure the tricycles on the basis of a restricted tender.
The PPA had 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.
Three companies had been submitted to the PPA for approval to undertake this exercise. These three companies had been asked to tender their bids with all the necessary processes undertaken while 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,” Mrs. Tamakloe Ationu underscored.
She added that, “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.”