Friday, October 29, 2010
NDC takes over NIA
Dr. William Ahadzie is the Executive Secretary of the National Identification Authority in Ghana(NIA)
Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Friday october 29, 2010
What is supposed to be a public institution devoid of partisanship is gradually being turned into an avenue reserved solely for members of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) who have grabbed juicy appointments in the establishment relegating technocrats to the sidelines.
Currently all top positions at the National Identification Authority (NIA) have been assigned to family members or relatives of top guns in the NDC creating anxiety in the sensitive organisation.
For instance Marco Mensah who is the Head of Operations is the junior brother of Sylvester Mensah, Chief Executive Officer of National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) and a member of the NIA board; Osei Kwame Griffiths, son of Commander P.M.G Griffiths, a Deputy Minister of Communications in the erstwhile Rawlings administration and a current member of Ministerial Advisory Board for Ministry of communications is in charge of ICT at the NIA.
A brother of Kwame Peprah, former Finance Minister and currently Board Chairman of SSNIT is the Head of Administration while the son of Dr. (Mrs.) Christine Amoako-Nuamah a presidential advisor and Chairperson of the GIMPA Council is in charge of the Human Resource Department.
Under the law a Minister of State is not supposed to be a board member of any state institution unless explicitly indicated in the enabling law, but E.T. Mensah, Minister of Employment and Social Welfare is still enjoying his membership of the NIA board.
Daily Guide has learnt that Osei Kwame Griffiths is temporarily residing at the premises of the NIA located at Gulf House near the Tetteh Quarshie Interchange in Accra.
It is alleged that NIA contracted Ernst & Young, a professional services firm to draw a strategic business plan aimed at identifying areas where NIA could generate funds internally but before the plan could be submitted for discussion and approval by the government, the management of the authority entered into a contractual agreement to produce identity cards for private organizations and individuals.
A source said when the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) whose boss is NIA board member, requested the Authority to produce ID cards for field staff conducting the 2010 Population and Housing Census (PHC); the NIA sublet the contract to two private companies to produce the cards at the cost of GH¢ 169, 280.
Interestingly, the private companies: Decision Link based in Kumasi and Universal Asid Systems in Accra were said to have used facilities of the NIA including vehicles and offices to execute the business raising questions about the rationale behind engaging private firms for the job.
When reached on his cell phone for his comments, Dr William Ahadzie, Executive Secretary said “we did a public/private partnership with only one company and they did a good job.”
He said the NIA conducted an exercise to resister all its operators and three companies had put in bids for that exercise saying “one company won the bid and it did its work very fast.”
He said due to the alacrity with which the company executed the contract, the NIA decided to involve the same company to produce ID card when the GSS approached the authority.
On the question of relatives of top NDC gurus getting juicy appointments at the NIA, Dr Ahadzie said he could not answer for that and asked Daily Guide to conduct its own investigations.
On the issue of ET Mensah as a board member and Minister of State at the same time, Dr Ahadzie said he (ET Mensah) was on the board as a representative of Parliament as the law stipulates.
On the allegation that Osei Kwame Griffiths temporarily resides at the NIA headquarters, Ahadzi said that could not be true saying “the building has been designed in such a way that there is a place for the night shift supervisor.”