… In MASLOC’s Ghc28.8m Fiat Panda deal

…As Dextro Impex seems a stealth startup

Following eruption of the scandal over the deal for supposed auto company, Dextro Impex, to supply 1,800 cars to the Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC), dirty files have begun emerging on the sweetheart deal.

Tidbits thrown up by scandal-storms include suggestions that Chief of Staff, Frema Osei-Opare, has her fingers in the Ghc28.8million pie.

It has also emerged that Dextro Impex Ghana Limited, which was chosen over the Fiat car manufacturer’s local distributor in Ghana, Tannik, is a stealth startup that had been quickly put together by regime actors and cronies for the purpose of grabbing the deal.

The Republic has heard about how the company, which does not have a dime in its accounts, has deployed foot soldiers on a door-to-door campaign since August, this year, to raise $500,000 from interested investors so that a first consignment of 300 cars can be shipped in.

According to sources, Dextro Impex is one of many startup companies that members of the ruling party have put up to receive state contracts since the NPP came into power in January.

People allegedly behind it, including Presidential Staffer, Nii Teiko Tagoe, are said to have been inspired to set it up after they had received the contract to supply the cars.

The detail of the contract to supply the 1,800 cars is said to be fraught with wanton abuse of legal standards, including a sidelining of the Public Procurement Authority, because Chief of Staff, Frema Osei Opare, is allegedly using her clout as coverage.

She is said to have a cut on the profit that will accrue from the Ghc28.8million supply contract.

In August, following a landing of the contract, Dextro Impex, as a startup, did not have any capital and therefore could not afford $500,000 that was needed to ship in a first consignment of 300 of the cars as precondition for getting mobilization from MASLOC.

A bid to raise the money had led to people behind the company, sending out foot soldiers to mobilize the money from any interested investors. One of such foot soldiers was a guy called Zack.

A two-timer, Zack deals with people both within the ruling NPP and the opposition NDC. And so, when he was sent out to raise the money, one of his points of call was the office of NDC bigwig, Goozie Tanoh.

But Mr. Tanoh had told this Zack guy that he was not interested.

A desperate Zack is said to have later touched base with respected elderly businessman who lives at Ring Road Estates in Accra and begged him to invest in the deal promising that the businessman (name withheld) stood to reap handsomely from it.

It is said that in the conversation with the businessman, Zack had bragged that if the longstanding businessman invested in the deal, his returns were assured because the deal had the Chief of Staff herself involved.

Allegedly, according to Zack, Frema Osei Opare, is keen to see the deal through because she has a cut on a lot of profit that would yield from it.

The respected businessman had however turned down the proposition telling Zack that in his 50 years of business practice, he has had a policy of not taking government contracts.

A disappointed Zack eventually left the place and went his way. However, it has since emerged that he was not the only one on errand duty to raise the $500,000 to enable Dextro Impex bring down the first consignment of 300 cars so that it can get mobilization money from MASLOC to ship in the remainder of the 1,800 cars.

Other cash hunters are said to have worked in the UK.

It is not clear if the foot soldiers of Dextro Impex were able to raise the $500,000 but MASLOC is known to have issued a Letter of Comfort to help Dextro raise the mobilization.

The company, a stealth startup, had been given the contract to supply the 1,800 Fiat Pandas to MASLOC, in spite of the existence of a local distributor for Fiat in Ghana, called Tannik Ghana Limited.

As Dextro Impex proves to be so callow that it cannot even raise a paltry $500,000 to bring in a first consignment of the secondhand cars, it has since emerged that the agreement it has with MASLOC to supply the cars breaches many legal procedures.

MASLOC for instance sole sourced Dextro for the supply of the cars in the absence of a substantive Board for MASLOC.

Again, the Public Procurement Authority, which is supposed to approve the procurement, does not have a Board in place, while the Letter of Comfort that MASLOC’s CEO, Stephen Amoah, signed for Dextro Impex had not been approved by the head of the Legal  Department of MASLOC.

The same Letter of Comfort does not also seem to have come to the attention of the Finance Minister.

All the breaches by MASLOC, which is an agency under the Presidency, are said to have been overlooked because the Chief of Staff, Frema Osei Opare, allegedly has a share to make in the profits that will be made from the Ghc28.8million deal.



Source: Fiifi Samuels

The Republic News Online

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