General News of Friday, 26 October 2018
The Ghana Maritime Authority has justified the over 10,000 cedis spent on food which has generated controversy, but contested the claim that it was for only eight persons.
A leaked memo Wednesday suggested the Authority spent a total of ten thousand six hundred and fifty two cedis, five pesewas (GHc 10,652.05) on lunch for eight persons in a single meeting last year.
The food was said to have provided by Luxe Suites Hotel in Accra which raised an invoice of the said amount.
The emergence of the said memo dated November 8, 2017 has received wide criticism over how over 10,000 of taxpayers money could be spent on food for eight people on a day and also raised issues of conflict of interest against the Director General Mr. Kwame Owusu.
The Authority’s website has publicised Mr. Owusu’s responsibility in overseeing the growth of LUXE Hotels as Group Chairman.
But a statement issued by the Authority Thursday night after a crisis meeting justified the expenditure but said there was “a misrepresentation of facts”.
According to the Authority, the leaked memo on which a pen had been used to write “for 8 participants” was doctored.
“The fact is that the memo making the rounds has been doctored by the ‘writing of 8 persons’,” it said.
It explained that the amount quoted was “the cost of food for different meetings (management and stakeholders) held on 31 October, 2017, 6 November 2017 and 8 November 2017”
Consequently, the Authority said the claim that the amount was spent on just eight persons in a single meeting couldn’t have been the case.
“Members for stakeholders meetings alone number well over 40 at a sitting aside the management team. From the above, it is clearly evident that the amount could not have been the cost of food for eight persons in a meeting as being portrayed,” it noted.
Meanwhile, the statement failed to address the issue of conflict of interest raised by some critics who have called for investigations but said the Authority will address all related issues in due course.