…engage crude tactics to snatch contracts
Clear symptoms that there is keen scramble for the spoils of power within the Akufo-Addo government continue to manifest as it emerges that the private security industry has become a new frontier of interest.
Close on the heels of the infamous 1trillion cedi supply contract from the Energy Ministry to the wife of the ruling party’s MP for Assin Central, it has emerged that NPP regime actors and party hawks are creaming up cash through the swap of contracts belonging to private security firms.
Through incumbency advantage, these regime characters have either set up private security firms to which government contracts are channeled or they are diverting already existing contracts to security companies that they have interests in.
Bernard Antwi Boasiako, aka Chairman Wontumi, Ashanti regional Chairman of the ruling party, Mustapha Hamid, Information Minister and Kwesi Amoako Atta, Transport Minister, have their names out as major actors with hands in the pie.
Wontumi, NPP’s Ashanti regional Chairman is said to be connected to an upstart security firm, ‘Vision Security’, with which he has landed contracts to provide security for Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) and the Ghana Ports and Harbors Authority.
Sources say that ‘Vision’ got the contract only recently even though it does not have any track record whatsoever. It is said that Ghana’s procurement laws were vandalized to give the contract to Vision which in addition to Wontumi, is also tied to Transport Minister, Amoako Atta.
A special assistant of Chairman Wontumi has since denied the Ashanti regional Chaiman’s connected to Vision Security. Andy Owusu however confesses that Chairman Wontumi is rather, the owner of another private security company called Lesben.
Mr. Owusu would not tell whether Lesben has since landed a contract from the Akufo-Addo government or not. He claims that Lesben had in the past won contracts from Anglo Gold Ashanti and provided private security but has since lost that contract.
The Special Assistant who said Wontumi was not available to speak to the issue personally claimed that Lesben, which Wontumi has since transferred into the name of a sister of his, has since bided for the Anglogold Ashanti contract but has not been successful.
Information Minister, Mustapha Hamid, who is said to be connected to security firm G7, has not been available to speak to the allegation that he personally influenced the award of state contracts to the firm.
G7 enjoys contracts with state entities including the Ghana Water Company, State Insurance Company, Ghana Gas Company and the Ghana Airports company.
It is alleged that the Information Minister has a relative of his in a strategic position in the company even as his alleged close ties with Mc-Reuben Kumah, founder and owner of G7, is believed to have also informed the contracting.
Mustapha Hamid has not been available for comment with all his phone lines not going through.
Meanwhile, the alleged escalation of the scramble for contracts by regime actors to the private security firms’ front is said to be widespread. The Akufo Addo government, which is already notorious for the Movenpiina oil sale and the self-dealing escapade of the CEO of the National Lotteries Authority, who awarded his sister-in-law eleven supply contracts, is said to be victimizing other firms in the contract swaps.
Some of these firms are said to have been in the contract of the state before the NPP came into office but upon the change of power, their contracts have been taken away from them and given to others.
According to sources, some State agencies who had engaged the services of these victimized companies, after competitive bids, started defaulting in honouring monthly payment obligation as stipulated in their contracts.
The none payment of monthly service charges is said to have been part of strategies adopted to force the victimized companies out of the contracts so that they can be replaced. In some cases, the contracts were terminated midway through the processes inexplicably, only for such contracts to be given to others.
Cleaning Service is also another area that has seen the Procurement Law broken to favour companies that are owned or backed by top NPP people. At the same Ghana Ports and Harbour Authority, an existing contract for cleaning was terminated and given to a party-friendly one in violation of procurement laws.
Recently, The Republic newspaper broke the story of an NPP stalwart, Twum Ampofo Agyekum, who had leveraged the incumbency of his government to divert a contract belonging to a private security firm to himself.
The Police have since gone after Mr. Ampofo Agyekum who had posed as a Director of Zein Security Limited to secure a contract that paid him some Ghc477, 000 a month.
Twum Ampofo Agyekum, an aspirant for the NPP’s constancy chairman for Fomena, in the Ashanti region, cashed at least Ghc1.7million from the diverted contract before The Republic’s publication led to Ghana Airports Company terminating the contract.
In the details of the issue, he is said to have diverted Zein Security’s existing contract with the Ghana Airports company to himself and gone ahead to cash corporate cheques that had been issued to Zein through his private bank account.
Zein has since sued him and the Ghana Airports company, while the Police have gone after him.
Source:therepublicnewsonline.com/Front Desk Report