General News of Monday, 4 December 2017
The Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Maafo has said the president’s endorsement of the Jospong Group of Companies cannot be right if the alleged corrupt deeds of Joseph Siaw Agyapong’s company are found to be true.
He said it will be inappropriate for the president to be seen to be endorsing a wrong doer.
“It’s certainly not right. It will give the wrong signals if you are seen to be pampering or endorsing a known wrong doer.
“That one is not right,” he said at the launch of the 2017 Anti Corruption and Transparency Week in Accra on Monday.
Officers of the Jospong Group of Companies have been accused of inflating prices for some contracts it won during the administration of former president John Mahama.
An investigation by Joy News’ Manasseh Azure Awuni revealed how a contract signed between the Ministry of Local Government and the Group was inflated by GHC130 million.
In the documentary titled ‘Robbing the Assemblies’ also revealed how the Office of the President, the Local Government Ministry and the Group were involved in a potentially dubious waste bin contract.
Per the investigation, the cost of a 240 litre waste bin as advertised by producers of waste bins in Ghana, which are also suppliers of waste bins to the Local Government Ministry is GHC135.
But a pro forma invoice Joy News secured from the Universal Plastic Product and Recycling Ltd, a subsidiary of the Jospong Group, quoted the cost of the same 240 litre bin as GHC150.
This revelation and many others sparked national outrage prompting the police to investigate the matter.
But even before their findings could be made public, the president Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo during a tour, met with the CEO of the Jospong Group and showered praises on him for his role in dealing with sanitation in the country.
The President said “When you are at the forefront of doing things like you are, you will be the subject of controversy, it goes with the territory. I know you a little bit, and I know you are capable of handling it. Stay focused.”
Although the president has been criticised by civil society groups like the Ghana Integrity Initiative, for his comment, this is the first time any of his ministers have made any pronouncements on the issue.
Mr Maafo however advised that those criticising the Jospong Group of Companies should be sure that the allegations leveled against them are true.
“But we must all be very sure that that condemnation is also accurate, if it is accurate then so be it,” he said.