The Chief Executive Officer of Ambar Quality Foods Limited, Mrs. Gertrude Quashigah says figures produced by the World Cup Committee said to be cost of foodstuffs she bought in Brazil, were inflated.
The Committee had indicated in a report to her and two other caterers that food items she bought from a shop in Brazil to prepare food for Ghana’s supporters during the tournament one particular occasion cost $37,720.
But testifying before the Presidential Commission investigating Ghana’s participation in the 2014 World Cup Thursday, September 11, 2014, Mrs Quashigah said the figure was outrageously high.
“It’s too high because that [currency] had to be transferred to the local currency there and there is nowhere in the world you can go and purchase [foodstuff] in that quantity in dollars,” she told the Commission chair, Justice Senyo Dzamefe.
“The figures are not realistic, not at all,” she added.
According to her, even though she demanded receipts covering the items she bought from the shop, the attendant told her the receipt would be sent to a member of the organising. That response, she said, made her suspicious but she kept her suspicions to herself.
She told the Commission that ordinarily, she would have bought the same quantity of items from the same shop at maximum, half of the amount quoted.
“My Lords, if you send me to that market I can get that at half the price or even lower,” she stated.
Mrs. Quarshigah’s company was contracted by the World Cup Committee to provide feeding for about 300 football fans airlifted to the South American country, to cheer the national team, the Black Stars during the tournament.
She received a total of Ghȼ19,200 for the service rendered but the experienced Caterer said that was way below her expectations because, the workload she handled while in Brazil, was “too much” and the contract was also varied from purchasing foodstuffs and cooking for the fans, to rendering services which was originally discussed in Accra.
Competency of Organisers
She and the other two catering companies- Monee’s and Kenkey Boutique- decided to continue to offer their services and continued cooking for the fans even as late as 2am ”out of patriotism”, the witness said.
“Most of the time those supporters…some of them even drink so they need to eat…they can be eating and eating. We were cooking pots and pots of rice. We delivered. We were on top of our job,” she stressed.
The witness also questioned the competence of some of the people who coordinated the trip to Brazil.
“You must have that kind of transparency, you must also have competence in your job delivery [but] we were not seeing all that and you know, before you can be a coordinator or an event’s organizer you must have everything on your fingertips.
“This is not just a child’s play; it was an international assignment that had to be delivered internationally [and] all that I said, fell on deaf ears,” she lamented.