Ghana needs a procurement ombudsman – Bright Simons

Business News of Monday, 3 July 2017



Bright Simons3Bright Simons

Technology Innovator and President of Mpedigree, Bright Simons is advocating for what he describes as a Procurement Ombudsman to police the nation’s coffers.

According to him, allocating one percent of the country’s GDP for Innovation is inadequate when the procurement system allows corruption.

Speaking at the Innovation Summit as part of the Citi Business Festival, Mr. Simons maintained that blocking corrupt loopholes in the procurement system is the most important thing to do now.

“We were ready to spend 150 million dollars on ICT surveillance for a Chinese contractor nobody knew. That is just one project. If we are going to fix the innovation problem in this country, we have to transform procurement; root, branch, and stem. We need a procurement ombudsman who takes a comb through every single dollar spent in this country to make sure it is benefiting innovators,” he stressed.

He maintained that allocating one percent of the GDP to innovation is inadequate, considering the waste of resources in the country.

“We sat in this country and fought projects that have suck money out of this country. I started doing this in 2006, so 12 years of that. Anybody who doesn’t get pessimistic of fighting STX and the rest of them has a mental problem in my view. Hon. Minister, one percent of GDP about 400 million dollars is not going to do it,” he told the The Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng.

He argued that the financial waste in the country has reached an alarming situation that has compelled some innovators to be pessimist in their drive for change.

Mr. Simons was of the view that the only way to stop dubious procurement deals, is the setting up a procurement ombudsman office to audit every procurement that is signed.

“You are going to get worried because some of the projects that we’ve had tended to suck wealth out of this country, that is the bare fact. Why are those things important?, because it is the procurement system more than anything else that is going to transform this country,” he said.

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