……..Stinking Car Deal

A traffic of emerging dirty files on the deal that the Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC) made with supposed auto company, Dextro Impex, for the shipment of 1,800 secondhand Fiat Pandas, is on, with latest tidbit being that Dextro Impex was a tax defaulting company.

As a stealthy startup by regime actors and cronies, the same Dextro Impex Ghana Limited is not a new set-up, but a failed company that resurrected from the ashes with the electoral victory of the ruling New Patriotic Party(NPP).

According to the latest update, Dextro Impex Ghana Limited, which has an address that traces to Korle Gonno, a southern suburb of Accra, was first registered on the 24th of July, 2008.

Thenceforth, it never renewed its registration with the Registrar General’s Department until late 2016 when the NPP had won the general elections.

Before the NPP’s victory in the 2016 polls had breathed life into Dextro Impex Ghana Limited, the company had been in hibernation for eight whole years and had defaulted on the payment of taxes as part of the eight-year hiatus.

Taxes it defaulted on within the period include Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Value Added Tax (VAT) charges and property rates on office buildings, among others.

Dextro Impex Ghana Limited was therefore a known tax defaulting company when MASLOC’s Chief Executive Officer, Stephen Amoah, aka ‘Stickler’, gave it the juicy contract to import 1,800 secondhand Fiat Pandas for MASLOC in August, this year.

Smirking of a typical sweetheart deal, the Ghc28.8million contract had been awarded to Dextro Impex on sole source basis, in spite of the fact that the manufacturer of the Fiat automobile marque has a local distributor in Ghana.

The names of four people, said to be the directors behind the company, have come up, including Clifford Tagoe, who is suspected to be a relative of Presidential Staffer, Nii Teiko Tagoe, who is said to be connected to the company.

At the Flagstaff House, Nii Teiko Tagoe, who works only a heartbeat away from President Akufo-Addo, has, as his immediate boss, Chief of Staff, Fremah Osei-Opare, who is said to have used her clout to allow the deal to happen, even though it breaches many legal standards, because she stands to benefit from cream-offs from the deal.

Among others, MASLOC had sole sourced Dextro Impex to ship in the cars without recourse to the Public Procurement Authority, which, by law, is supposed to issue all clearances on public procurements.

The deal also happened without a Board for MASLOC in place, while a Letter of Comfort issued and signed by Stephen Amoah, did not get Parliamentary approval even though letters of comfort are in the class of Sovereign Guarantees.

The same Letter of Comfort had not been sanctioned by MASLOC’s head of Legal Affairs.

Meanwhile, the corporate character of Dextro Impex Ghana Limited, which is seen as rather chameleonic, shows that it tends to get established only when the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), is in power.

After being registered in July 2008, it appears that the company had, subsequently, quickly folded up after the NPP had lost the 2008 elections to the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).

Dextro Impex Ghana Limited had then stayed out of business throughout the eight years that the NPP was in opposition, only arising from the ashes, like a Phoenix, in 2016 when the NPP won power.

Less than a year down the line, the company, which had not been able to pay taxes throughout the eight-year hiatus, has suddenly won a gargantuan Ghc28.8million contract to ship in secondhand cars into the country.

Interestingly, the contract to Dextro Impex, the resurrected start-up, had sidelined Tannik Ghana Limited, a local distributor of Fiat in Ghana.

Many people have wondered whether Tannik would have quoted Ghc16,000 as price per one secondhand Fiat Panda (2011 model) if MASLOC had approached it to do the importations.

For many people, telltale signs around the deal, including the fact that MASLOC had issued a Letter of Comfort to basically lend government’s cachet to Dextro Impex, a tax evading company which tends to rise and fall with the NPP, point to the fact that the deal is a sweetheart one.



Source: Fiifi Samuels

The Republic News Online

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