General News of Thursday, 5 October 2017
The former CEO of the Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC), Sedina Tamakloe Attionu, has denied inflating the cost of vehicles meant for the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU), opening up the state to some financial loss.
Making her voice heard on the matter for the first time in a statement, Mrs. Attionu said the claims against her were evidence of an agenda from the current MASLOC management to divert from its failings.
“I refute in no uncertain terms these spurious and baseless allegations intended to tarnish my tenure as CEO of MASLOC. I am happy that some officials of the GPRTU have spoken out, of their own volition, to refute the lies of the NPP administration, Mrs. Attionu asserted.
The Statesman Newspaper had first reported that the 100 Chevrolet Spark vehicles, 150 Chevrolet Aveo vehicles and 100 Izusu buses, had been “left at the mercy of the weather” after GPRTU refused to buy them at the excessive prices.
According to the current MASLOC administration, its checks had revealed that the cars which were being sold for $9,000 in the showrooms of MAC Auto & Spare Parts, had been purchased at a cost of about $16, 000 per vehicle from the same company resulting in a reported loss of about $2 million.
But in her side of the story, Mrs. Attionu narrated that this process started as far back as May 20, 2016, after the GPRTU requested MASLOC to assist the Union financially to acquire vehicles for their members to replace the old and rickety ones on the roads.
According to her, GPRTU were already in talks with MAC Auto & Spare Parts (Gh) Limited for the supply of some vehicles as follows: “(price is per unit without VAT and NHIL): 100 Chevrolet Spark LITE @ $13,850.00; 150 Chevrolet Aveo @ $15,850.00; 100 IZUZU HB-208 @ $94,800.00.”
She said it was agreed with the supplier that the quoted prices would be converted to the cedis at a rate of GH¢4.0 to the dollar.” After discussion, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the parties on June 8, 2016, followed by a supplementary MoU on August 2, 2016, stating that “MASLOC would make a 30% down payment with the balance paid in equal quarterly installments over a period of twenty-four (24) months.”
The Memorandum by GPRTU on the Acquisition of the Vehicles from MAC Auto and Spare Parts Limited, financed by MASLOC, was signed on August 11, 2016, by their National & Regional Executive and MASLOC. A pricing schedule/ re-payment plan was discussed and accepted.
The negotiations stalled after the National Democratic Congress lost the 2016 elections, and the GPRTU was forced to restart negations with the new management of MASLOC after the New Patriotic Party government was sworn into office in January 2017.
There is however conflicting information coming from the GPRTU, with its General Secretary, Alhaji Issa Khalifah, claiming the new management of MASLOC inflated the cost of the cars, whiles the Union’s Chairman, Kwame Kuma, said the Union had agreed with MASLOC to purchase the cars at the same amount agreed upon under the previous government. Issa Khalifah said the Aveo Salon car was given to the union at GH¢56,000, the Spark at GH¢55,000, and the bus at GH¢380,000.
But he claims the new management priced the Aveo at GH¢ 72,000, the Spark at GH¢ 61,000 and the bus at GH¢ 445,000. The GPRTU Chairman, however, said prices being offered by the current government were the same offered under Mrs. Attionu’s management.
Current management’s failings
Mrs. Attionu asserted that, the vehicles lay abandoned not because the GPRTU rejected them, but because “the new management of MASLOC has failed or refused to proceed with the processes towards handing over the vehicles to the GPRTU members.” She said the “onus lay on the current CEO, Mr. Stephen Amoah, to continue the GPRTU project in a seamless manner and take credit for the project, if he so desired.”
But Mrs. Attionu claims that, Mr. Amoah is out to tarnish her tenure at MASLOC, and has been sidetracked by his agenda against her. “Having been caught pants down, he now seeks to lay blame on my tenure by concocting stories of vilification,” she said in her statement.
Find below the full statement:
THE TRUE STORY OF JOHN MAHAMA’S SUPPORT FOR THE GPRTU & PRIVATE TRANSPORTERS
Since exiting office as the Chief Executive of MASLOC on January 7, 2017, several spurious allegations and fabricated stories have been levelled against my tenure. Some of the claims are so bizarre, one wonders how seemingly productive thought processes were harnessed to put together such outrageously and palpably false figments of imagination.
Over the last few days, the new CEO of MASLOC aided by one Gabby Okyere Darko using the Statesman newspaper and his personal social media handles, have been out and about claiming that three hundred and fifty (350) vehicles acquired by MASLOC have been left abandoned because their intended beneficiaries, the GPRTU, have rejected them since the former management and government inflated the cost of the vehicles to US$2million.
I refute in no uncertain terms these spurious and baseless allegations intended to tarnish my tenure as CEO of MASLOC. I am happy that some officials of the GPRTU have spoken out, of their own volition, to refute the lies of the NPP administration.
Our politics cannot be allowed to continue to be tele-guided by lies and misrepresentations by the followers of the Danquah-Busia tradition. We should do away with such negative and nation-wrecking political manipulations and concentrate, as the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and especially H.E. John Dramani Mahama demonstrated, on nation building, consistent transformation of our economy and tackling our infrastructural deficit in a manner that will ensure the sustained development of our motherland.
Far from being abandoned because the GPRTU rejected them, the vehicles procured by the NDC’s John Mahama administration through MASLOC are still where they are because after the handing over of the administration of Government and MASLOC, on January 7, 2017, the new management of MASLOC has failed or refused to proceed with the processes towards handing over the vehicles to the GPRTU members.
As Government is a continuum as evidenced by the commissioning of several of President Mahama’s Projects by President Nana Akufo Addo, the onus lay on the current CEO, Mr. Stephen Amoah, to continue the GPRTU project in a seamless manner and take credit for the project, if he so desired.
However, vilification of my tenure has so consumed him that in pursuing that agenda he has failed to stay focused on his job and has ended up exhibiting gross negligence and dereliction of duty. Having been caught pants down, he now seeks to lay blame on my tenure by concocting stories of vilification.
Had the Statesman reporter followed basic journalistic ethics by verifying his information with me before publication, he would have realized that his report was inaccurate. However, it seems clear that the story was published with the sole aim of ridiculing and tarnishing my tenure and that of the entire Management and staff of MASLOC who served during that period.
MASLOC was governed by a Board comprising persons of high moral character and repute and was chaired by a seasoned Chartered Accountant. As a professional with over twenty-five years working experience in both the Private and Public Sector, I served my country to the best of my ability with competence, integrity and humility.
? I urge the general public to disregard the irresponsible and bogus publications by the Daily Guide and Statesman Newspapers.
? I urge the general public to treat with contempt the reckless, foolhardy comments and tweets by Ibrahim Adjei and Gabby Asare Okyere Darko, both of the Presidency.
? I urge the general public to treat with scorn the pathetic, fallacious, unprofessional gibberish of Stephen Amoah (CEO of MASLOC) and Maame Afua Akoto (Deputy CEO of MASLOC), which they continue to spew forth.
BELOW ARE SOME FACTS ON THE MASLOC/GPRTU PROJECT AS WELL AS THE ACQUISITION OF TRICYCLES FOR MASLOC:
On October 3, 2017, a publication by the Statesman Newspaper sought to impugne wrongdoing and corruption to my tenure as CEO of MASLOC, with the caption “$2M INFLATED CAR DEAL AT MASLOC – GPRTU snub leaves 350 cars rotting” with my picture and that of a car on the front page of the newspaper stating categorically that vehicles purchased for the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) amounted to US$2,000,000 and as such GPRTU had refused to take up the vehicles for utilization by their members.
This was followed by a Facebook post and Twitter Tweet by Gabby Asare Okyere Darko (of UN General Assembly fame), “This is how govt wastes ya money as tax payer. In 2016, paid $16,000 each for 100 cars when it sells for $9,000 retail” with a photo of the said publication.
My attention has also been drawn to ‘negative’ radio interviews granted by the current CEO of MASLOC, Mr. Stephen Amoah, and the Deputy CEO of MASLOC, Maame Afua Akoto.
Find below the facts of the MASLOC/GPRTU Project:
Former President John Dramani Mahama initiated the MASLOC/GPRTU Hire Purchase Programme to assist GPRTU augment its fleet, following a meeting with the leadership of the Union at which they recounted the challenges being faced with accessing funds to revamp their fleet.
Note that the John Mahama Government had successfully retooled the InterCity STC, augmented the Metro Mass Transit Company’s fleet, and implemented the Bus Rapid Transport system (BRT) and with newly Ayalolo Buses. It was now the turn of the Private Sector – GPRTU would be assisted to acquire 250 (1.3litre) cars for commercial taxis and 100 (33-seater) buses under the MASLOC Vehicle Hire Purchase Programme.
It is important to state that this process started as far back as May 20, 2016, with a letter from the GPRTU with reference number IV/C.11/SF.3/VOL.6/91, and signed by Mr. Issah M. Khaleepha, GPRTU General Secretary, requesting MASLOC to assist the Union financially to acquire vehicles for their members to replace the old and rickety ones on the roads.
The letter indicated that the GPRTU were already in talks with MAC Auto & Spare Parts (Gh) Limited for the supply of some vehicles as follows (price is per unit without VAT and NHIL): 100 Chevrolet Spark LITE @ $13,850.00; 150 Chevrolet Aveo @ $15,850.00; 100 IZUZU HB-208 @ $94,800.00.
It was agreed with the supplier that the quoted prices would be converted to Ghana Cedis at a rate of 4.0ghc to the dollar, and there would be no upward revision of the rate at any time.
In order to enable the Union acquire the buses under softer financial arrangements in terms of pricing and tax regimes, MASLOC applied through the Chief of Staff to the Ministry of Finance to waive the taxes and duties on the vehicles. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the parties on June 8, 2016. A supplementary Memorandum of Understanding reviewing the Principal Memorandum of Understanding was signed on August 2, 2016, stating that MASLOC would make a 30% down payment with the balance paid in equal quarterly instalments over a period of twenty-four (24) months.
The Memorandum by GPRTU on the Acquisition of the Vehicles from MAC Auto and Spare Parts Limited financed by MASLOC was signed on August 11, 2016, by their National & Regional Executive and MASLOC. A pricing schedule/ re-payment plan was discussed and accepted.
A letter was written to PPA requesting their approval to single source the vehicles from MAC Auto. MASLOC received a response from the PPA acknowledging the receipt of the letter and requesting MASLOC to provide them with the Financial Arrangements approved by the Ministry of Finance.
MASLOC had several meetings with the Minister of Finance, Deputy Minister of Finance and Chief Director of Finance on the matter. The Minister for Finance indicated that they would pay 30% of the total amount as deposit; MASLOC would set up a line purchase mechanism to repay that advance and purchase price for the buses; all recoveries would be paid into a revolving fund out of which the supplier would be paid; interest that accrued would be used for subsequent purchases.
After the launching ceremony, a draft contract agreement was designed by MASLOC and given to the GPRTU for review; GPRTU indicated that they were satisfied with the contents and were ready for the contract to be signed; GPRTU also informed MASLOC that its members were prepared to make the deposit payment and go through the process of accessing the vehicles.
Unfortunately, these processes could not be concluded before I exited office on January 7, 2017. Ms. Esther Agbeko who was nominated to act in my stead until a substantive CEO was appointed by President Nana Akuffo Addo, as I have been informed, wrote to brief the new Chief of Staff some time in February 2017 on the GPRTU project to enable MASLOC proceed with the signing of the above contracts and commence the disbursement process.
The vehicles have remained parked where they were before January 7, 2017, and neither the new CEO nor the Chief of Staff has initiated the processes to have the vehicles released to the GPRTU.
Fellow Ghanaians, wherein lies the truth of the claim that the vehicles have been abandoned because we inflated the prices of the vehicles leading to the rejection of the vehicles by the GPRTU?
Such outright lies, told to cover up the ineptitude and partisan handling of national issues, can only come from depraved minds. No single unit of those vehicles was issued to any GPRTU member, so if as they are planning, they want to deny the Union the vehicles and rather allocate them to identified members of their Party, they should just go ahead instead of dragging the name of H.E. John Dramani Mahama and his appointees at MASLOC in the mud.
May I take this opportunity to react to the baseless and vexatious allegations made against my tenure by Mr. Ibrahim Adjei of the Presidency. He claimed on Metro TV’s Good Morning Ghana program, that I had inflated the price of tricycles for MASLOC by purchasing six hundred (600) tricycles for GHC 17million.
The facts relating to the purchase of the tricycles are as follows: In October 2016, Management of MASLOC received approval from its Board to purchase 2,000 tricycles. Based on the approval, MASLOC wrote to PPA, requesting to procure the tricycles on the basis of a restricted tender.
Three companies were submitted to the PPA for approval to undertake this exercise.
PPA granted approval for the use of restricted tendering for the procurement of the tricycles at a total cost of not more than GHC 17,000,000.00. The three companies were asked to tender their bids. The necessary processes were undertaken and the bids were assessed.
The successful company supplied six hundred (600) tricycles before I exited office. Upon that supply, 40% payment was to have been made to the supplier. The remaining 1,400 tricycles would also be supplied after which payment would have been made 3-6 months thereafter.
No payment was made for the supply of the 600 tricycles till I exited office. Fellow Ghanaians, wherein lies the truth of the claim that six hundred (600) tricycles were purchased at GHC17,000,000?
Can paying GHC17,000,000 for six hundred (600) tricycles be equated to paying GHC17,000,000 for two thousand (2,000) tricycles? NO
Did MASLOC make any payments on the 600 tricycles delivered during my tenure? NO
Did MASLOC distribute any of the 600 tricycles delivered during my tenure? NO
To categorically state that MASLOC purchased 600 tricycles for GHC17million and insinuate a corrupt inflated deal is an outright despicable falsehood, reflective of the degenerate mental state of Ibrahim Adjei and his cohorts.
I hereby serve notice that I intend to fearlessly protect my hard-earned reputation.
Sedina Tamakloe Attionu Former CEO, MASLOC.