General News of Wednesday, 3 October 2018
General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress, Johnson Asiedu Nketia has alleged that the helicopters which were purchased by the Ghana Gas Company and deemed missing in a forensic audit report are being used by Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and the Ghana Air Force.
Addressing the media at a press briefing, Asiedu Nketia said the helicopters are currently stationed at the Ghana Air Force base and not missing as speculated in the report.
According to him, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia travelled in one of the alleged missing helicopters to the Upper West Region to deliver relief items to victims of Bagre dam spillage.
Describing the auditors as fake, the NDC General Secretary believes the forensic audit report is a ploy by government to nail some appointees of the erstwhile Mahama government.
“This so-called forensic audit report alleges that the Ghana National Gas Company under the previous NDC government caused financial loss to the state by purchasing helicopters which cannot be found, that there was some loan to Ghana Gas Company, a component of which was for the procurement of helicopters. Then these fake auditors go there then produce a report that those helicopters cannot be found and then it is widely publicised as if the previous management of the Ghana Gas Company have taken money meant for the purchase of helicopters and these helicopters cannot be found anywhere,” General Mosquito said.
He added, “It is on record that those helicopters are stationed at the Ghana Airforce Base being actively used by the Ghana Air Force and that it was one of these helicopters that was used recently to convey the Vice President Dr. Bawumia to Wa when he went to distribute relief items to flood victims which have turned out to have been expired relief items for which his brother-in-law, the Deputy National Coordinator have been suspended.”
The NDC’s accusation follows the uncovering of some procurement irregularities amounting to a whopping US$137,861,127.15 at Ghana National Gas Company during the erstwhile administration of John Mahama by a private firm, Morrison and Associates.
Commissioned by the government, Morrison and Associates’ forensic audit of Ghana Gas further detected that helicopters purchased from China National Aero-Technology Import and Export Corporation (CATIC) by Ghana Gas “have never been used for purpose of its purchase.”
According to the audit report, a whopping $54,800,000 has gone down the drain as “financial loss to the state.”
It added: “Abnitio training cost not fully utilized for its intended purpose” amounts to US$300,000, making a total of US$61,058,366.756.
The report which has been submitted to President Akufo-Addo and his cabinet also detected procurement breaches worth US$34,451,650.22 and US$42,351,110.17 in contracts with Memphis Metropolitan Limited and Kingspok Company Limited respectively.
The report covers the board chairmanship tenure of Dr. Kwesi Botchwey also exposed that equipment for the helicopters worth $5,958,366.76 “were not delivered even though it was part of the contract price.”
A former member of the Ghana National Gas Company board Dr. Valerie Sawyerr has since challenged report of the forensic audit describing it as shoddy.