General News of Saturday, 3 November 2018
The Minority Spokesperson on Constitutional and Legal Affairs, Inusah Fuseini, wants a full-scale investigation into the activities of the Director-General of the Ghana Maritime Authority, Kwame Owusu, who has been accused of misappropriating funds.
This follows reports that Mr. Kwame Owusu allowed an amount of GHC130,000 to be used for an year party for the staff of the Authority, and the use of GHc1 million for the renovation of his apartment.
Although Mr. Owusu has justified the decision to spend GHc1 million for the renovation of an official residence, Inusah Fuseini has questioned why he is still at post.
“The appointing authority knows that the answers he gave to the questions [he was asked] were very wrong and inappropriate. His posture and demeanor as a public servant is totally unacceptable. I will call for investigations to be carried out because if actually 11 air conditioners have been bought and it is everywhere on social media where he is alleged to be saying that even the 11 air conditioners are not enough, then it is wrong,” he said.
The Maritime Authority Director-General has been in the news recently after an alleged internal memo of a GHc10, 000 spent on lunch for some eight staff of the authority went viral on social media. Although a hotel which he owns provided the meals, he doesn’t consider that to be a conflict of interest.
While justifying the money spent by the Authority on it’s end-of-year party and the renovation of his official residence, Mr. Owusu said there was nothing wrong with what he did.
Mr. Owusu said the refurbished residence which has been fitted with 11 air-conditioners is relatively modest when compared to other buildings occupied by other Director Generals of some state agencies.
“Some Director-Generals have a house allocated to them and have even a separate guest house for entertainment and if this Director General or any other Director-General of the Ghana Maritime Authority who superintends over the maritime industry in Ghana cannot have a four bedroom or five bedrooms [home], then I say it is mediocrity in the mindset. We must think big.”
“The places that I listed to you, for each one of them to have air conditioner will be 13, so the 11 is not even enough and by the way, we don’t put them on all together,” he said at a Press Conference on Tuesday.
He however rejected claims that the Authority blew an amount of GHc10,000 on lunch for only eight people.
Kwame Owusu said such reports are mischievous and a calculated attempt to smear his reputation.
He at the press conference said the amount was spent on 17 management members for multiple meetings and not on a single meeting.
“…We are about 17 people. Even eight people will not form a quorum for us to go ahead for a meeting.”
Inusah Fuseini said Mr. Owusu does not deserve to be called a public servant.
“He is not showing that he is a public servant” he said.
Transport Minister orders probe into ‘suspicious’ expenses at Maritime Authority
Meanwhile, the Minister of Transport, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, has directed the board of the Ghana Maritime Authority to investigate the alleged misappropriations.
The Transport Minister in a statement said the board is expected to make its findings available to him for an appropriate decision to be made.
“My attention has been drawn to a number of allegations against the Director General of the Ghana Maritime Authority, Mr. Kwame Owusu, which have gone viral on social media.”
“As the sector Minister with oversight responsibility over the Ghana Maritime Authority, I wish to indicate that I have directed the Board of the Authority to investigate the allegations and report to me for necessary action,” the statement added.