Thursday, January 30, 2014


Martin Amidu - former Attorney General

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By William Yaw Owusu
Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Supreme Court has adjourned to March 18, the case in which former Attorney General Martin ABK Amidu is seeking a review of the judgement delivered by the court in respect of Alfred Agbesi Woyome, Waterville Holdings and Austro Invest Management.

The court on Friday, June 14, 2013 had ordered Waterville Holdings (BVI) Limited of P. O. Box 3444 Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands to refund a whooping €25million paid by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government.

In his suit, the former AG, who has come to be known as ‘Citizen Vigilante’, had asked for 15 reliefs but the court granted five of those reliefs.

The reliefs granted included “a declaration that the Agreement entitled Contract for the Rehabilitation of a 40,000 Seating Capacity Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi, Ghana entered into on 26th April 2006 between the state and is an international business or economic transaction under Article 181(5) of the 1992 Constitution that could only have become operative and binding on the Government of Ghana after being laid before and approved by Parliament.”

Also a declaration that the Agreement entitled “Contract for the Rehabilitation of a 40,000 Seating Capacity Ohene Djan Sports Stadium and the Upgrading of the El Wak Stadium in Accra, Ghana” entered into on 26th April 2006 between the Republic of Ghana and Waterville is an international business or economic transaction under Article 181(5) of the 1992 Constitution that could only have become operative and binding on the Government of Ghana after being laid before and approved by Parliament.”

The nine-member panel presided over by Justice Samuel Kofi Date-Bah, now retired, had held that the two agreements without being laid before and approved by Parliament was inconsistent with and in contravention of Article 181(5) of the 1992 Constitution and consequently null, void and without operative effect whatsoever.

​The court granted that the conduct of Waterville in making a claim for and securing payment through mediation on an alleged breach of contract of the said two Agreements between it (a wholly foreign company) and the Government of Ghana when it knew that the agreements had not been approved, was inconsistent with and in contravention of the Constitution.

The case was scheduled for yesterday but it could not be heard because sources say the composition of the panel was still not complete and also the judges needed more time to assess the case.
Alfred A. Woyome
Both Mr. Amidu who is the appellant/applicant and Mr. Woyome one of the defendants in the initial suit were in court.

Mr. Amidu who normally represents himself in the case, and Osafo Buaben, counsel for Mr. Woyome were called to chambers and they returned with the information on the adjournment.

Details of the review filed by Mr. Amidu filed remain sketchy but Daily Guide gathered that the former AG wants the court to order Mr. Woyome to also refund any amount paid to him in respect of the agreement which the court had already declared unconstitutional.

Apart from Justice Date-Bah, other justices who sat on the initial case were Julius Ansah, Sophia O. Adinyira, Rose C. Owusu, Jones Victor Dotse, Paul Baffoe-Bonnie, Kwasi Anin-Yeboah, Sulley Nasiru Gbadegbe and Vida Akoto Bamfo.

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Wednesday, January 29, 2014


Dr. Tony Aidoo
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By William Yaw Owusu
Wednesday, January 29, 2013

Former Head of Policy Monitoring and Evaluation at the Presidency, Dr. Tony Aidoo is angry over what he sees as ‘crony capitalism’ within the President John Dramani Mahama-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration.

The ambassador-designate said he felt embarrassed by the scandal engulfing the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP) now Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA) under his own government.

“I feel very embarrassed as I sit here because for over eight years I was one of the voice's that berated the Kufour (Former President) administration for crony capitalism and today I see evidence of it in an NDC administration,” he told Joy FM, an Accra-based radio station on Monday .

“It should not have happened in the first place,” he fumed.

Dr. Aidoo recalled the NDC in its 2008 manifesto pledged to establish a monitory and evaluation system as a means to achieve accountability and followed it up with setting up a unit, saying “The National Youth Employment Programme that became GYEEDA is one of the units never ever submitted one data.”

He said constant reminders did not yield any result and there was no political muscle to ensure that people delivered.

“The warning signals that could have come with adequate data, analysis of the data and reportage to the Presidency that this is what is going was totally absent,” he said.
Murtala Mohammed
A Minister’s Defence
A Deputy Minister of Information, Murtala Mohammed has described as ‘disheartening’ the hauling of his former boss Abuga Pele to court for causing financial loss to the state in the GYEEDA scandal.

He is currently before the Financial Court in Accra presided over by Justice Afia Asare-Botwe, charged for willfully causing financial loss to the state to the tune of GHC3, 330,568.53.

The NDC MP for Chiana-Paga was accused of aiding one Philip Akpeena Assibit, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Goodwill International Group (GIG) to defraud the State of the said amount equivalent to $1,948,626.68.
The two have denied the charges and are currently on bail.

Murtala Mohammed who was once a deputy to Abuga Pele during the NYEP days said that it was ‘sad’ that thing have turned out this way.

He wrote on his Facebook page that: “Whatever the case is, I have no doubt whatsoever in the independence of our judiciary to dispense justice at all times”.

“In as much as I can't and I wouldn't stand in the way of justice, transparency and accountable governance, particular the enormous commitment shown by this government in fighting corruption and trying to expunge it from the annals of our political and governance system as a sovereign state, I believe I can state without any equivocation that Hon Abuga Pele gave his all to see (to) the success of the programme he managed as the leader for barely 4 years”.
Franklin Cudjoe
Create and Loot
However, Franklin Cudjoe, the founding President of Policy think tank, IMANI Ghana, described the GYEEDA programme as "vehicles to siphon money" from the state.

"Clearly there was no competitive playing field, these were projects that were cooked and then handed over to people,’’ he told an Accra based Citi FM on Saturday.

According to him there were no competition and transparency in the GYEEDA modules and went ahead to describe the programme as a “charade”.

The IMANI boss noted that the government appeared to be treating Ghanaians as “toddlers” as far as the GYEEDA issue was concerned.

“The reasons why we are evidently angry is that we are being treated like toddlers…’’ he said.
Richard Nyamah
The Big Guys
Richard Nyamah, Chairman of Young Patriots, a youth group within the NPP says he is not enthused by government’s decision to be selective in the prosecution of officials cited in the GYEEDA scandal.

“I wasn’t satisfied then and I’m not satisfied now; I think the President would have to do more,” he told Citi FM.

He said it would serve the country better if the government set its eyes on what he called the ‘big fishes’ involved in the scandal.

‘’The quantity of money we are talking about is in excess of GH¢200million; Mr Abuga Pele and the company we are talking about here is about GH¢5 million, we have some GH¢195million that is not being accounted for,’’ he said.

Mr. Nyamah questioned what had happened to the then Minister of Youth and Sports, Clement Humado who he claimed signed most of the GYEEDA contracts.

''You have Honourable Clement Humado who is also a Member of Parliament who signed off all these contracts; if today we are saying that those contracts were fraudulent, I think the person who signed the contracts in the name of the government has been engaged in fraud....''

''But if Mr Humado is not being hauled before the court for signing contracts in excess of GH¢200 million, then Abuga Pele is a small one,'' he reiterated.

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By William Yaw Owusu
Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Students on the Government of Ghana Scholarship in the United Kingdom say they are going through hell following the alleged failure of the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) to pay their bursaries.

Some claim they are being sacked from their universities because they have not received their fees and allowances while other are even asking the GETFund to fly them back home if the fund could no longer assist them.

Harrowing Experience
"The school has withdrawn my access to all buildings including library online...I have been home since... I have even asked GETFund to give me a return ticket but they have not replied...I want to come home," was the distressing message one of the students sent to DAILY GUIDE.

Another student also quizzed “if any of the Ministers of State have their children in this situation do you think they would have kept quiet and allow this dehumanizing situation to continue?”

“Worst of all we have former NUGS Presidents who are Ministers of State today who threatened to take the government to court because funds were not being released into the GETFund account regularly as expected. Where are they today, why are they suddenly quiet” he queried.

GSA Factor
Earlier a group calling itself Ghanaian Students Studying Abroad (GSA) in a statement signed by one John Kwame Domfeh said “Ghanaian students studying under GETFund sponsorship in the UK are faced with challenges related to non-payment of fees and allowances and wish to register our disappointment at the Government of Ghana for failure to pay our fees and living allowances since August, 2013.”
The release claimed that “attempts to reach the authorities of GETFund to pay our fees and living allowances have proved futile and we are on the verge of being sacked from our various universities.”

“We have sent several emails to GETFund to register our frustrations but they have refused to reply to our emails.”

They said “complaints by university authorities and hostel managers unleashing debt collectors on us to retrieve unpaid hostel rents have been some of our difficulties in the United Kingdom.  Some of us have been relying on our parents back home to get money for hostel fees and food since the government has failed to pay both our tuition fees and other allowances.”
They appealed passionately President John Dramani Mahama to “promptly salvage the situation.”
GETFund Reaction 
However, Steve Baffoe, Public Relations Officer of GetFund told DAILY GUIDE on Monday that it was not fair on the part of the students to accuse GETFund of wrongdoing when they are failing to disclose their identities.
He said “we are working on the UK students issue. When I checked, we put GH¢3million in Fidelity Bank account just last December to cater for student allowance and fees.”
“My information is that we have paid a considerable number of students in respect of their fees and we will continue to do that until the GH¢3million is completely exhausted.”
“As the money is exhausted we receive money from the Ministry of Finance to put in more money to continue the payments.
Mr. Baffoe said “the academic year starts from October and there are some students whose programmes run for more than a year so we pay for every academic year and those whose programmes go beyond the year we prepare and pay when the new academic year begins.”
“We know who we are sponsoring. If we know the specifics, we would be able to go into the database and check whether they are actually on our sponsorship or not,” adding “if it is omnibus, it becomes difficult. You may be speaking to people who may not be part of the students that GETFund is sponsoring.”
Mr. Baffoe said “this same John Kwame Domfeh wrote something in the papers last week. I have been trying to get in touch with him but to no avail,” adding “even though it is not surprising they have an association to cater for their welfare, as sponsors we would like to know who are the individuals who are on our database.”
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Sunday, January 12, 2014


President Mahama

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By William Yaw Owusu
Saturday, January 11, 2014

John Dramani Mahama met scores of journalists at the Flagstaff House, Accra last Tuesday as part of activities marking the 1st Anniversary on his election as President.

He took the opportunity to answer questions from journalists and to even make more promises.

In fact, for two hours or so President Mahama flanked by his vice almost all his Ministers and other  appointees as well as security chiefs, was on his feet fielding questions, answers to each attracting a bonus promise.

The format
Press conferences are usually organized for the purposes of distributing information to the media and answering questions from reporters. Press conferences can also be organized in response to addressing public relations issues and in this 1st anniversary press conference, the President appeared to have targeted both.

By inviting the press to such special events, the Presidency had a good opportunity to present news story/stories in the most favorable light; critics claimed he missed the opportunity to do that.

The idea of taking questions in batches instead of answering each question as and when it came also became a subject for debate. Some were of the view that once the questions were asked in batches the President could easily skip some of them.

Should there have been follow-up questions? These were issues also raised by some critics.

The Debate
While some hailed the move as deepening freedom of expression, the rule of law and good governance, others were of the view that the frontiers of democracy would have expanded if the President had been more forthright with some of the answers he gave.

Critics have been particularly incensed over the Merchant Bank brouhaha and its sale to Fortiz which once again became a major topic of discussion on broadcast and social media.

Corruption Fight
The President reiterated his commitment to fighting corruption and graft in the country saying that “When it comes to corruption, I have no qualms in the fight” describing it as “mass murder”.

However, he could not tell the public any new interventions - apart from what the government has been trumpeting all along - he had put in place to stem the corruption which everybody share the view that it has become widespread.
From GYEEDA to SADA, action on the Auditor-Generals Report or Public Account Committee’s recommendations, everything the President said was already in the public domain.

“We have taken a bold step. I have asked the AG’s Department and EOCO to prepare the dockets for prosecution. They kept updating me on a fortnightly basis and I am sure you will see some action on GYEEDA. Even the AG has called the service providers to repay those monies and has entered into agreements with them to refund the monies over a period of time.

I have also received the report for SADA and some instructions have gone out to retrieve some monies so the AG will be working on that.”

To his critics, these directives are nothing new and even the timeframe within which his minister’s were supposed to act to retrieve some of the monies or take certain actions had elapsed.

Promises Galore
The President’s penchant for promises has been highly discussed in the media and as usual, his critics and some analysts have accused him of “always promising but failing to deliver.”

Even in the face of widespread economic hardships and with economists forecasting a difficult year, the President was courageous enough to promise better days in 2014.

For instance, in the government’s own budget statement announced in November last year, Value Added Tax was increased by 2.5 percent (VAT is now 17.5 percent from 15 percent). Utilities (Electricity 9.73 and Water 6.80) have all gone up. This is negatively affecting statistics in the employment sector since more companies are laying off workers.

Inflation is over 13 percent. Budget deficit is over 11 percent of GDP. Newly recruited teachers and nurses wait over a year to be paid. Major infrastructural projects such as important roads are left uncompleted but the President says he has put in solid measures to ensure that 2014 will become better for Ghanaians.

“For 2014, I’m very positive. I’m upbeat that it’s going to begin the transformation of our country. It’s going to mark the opening of new doors of opportunities for us,” he said.

Phantom Schools
It was evident that the NDC government did not fulfill its promise of building 50 senior high schools yearly, at least 2013 was there for all to see.
Yet, the President had a way to explain his government’s inability to fulfill that promise.

“We should have started 50 schools last year but because of transparency and having to go through a thorough process to ensure that the projects are executed properly we spent the whole of last year doing that.”

The President made more promises: “This year, we are going to start with the first 50 but we are also going to start with the second 50 and so we are going to start on two batches of 50 community day secondary schools this year. We are on track to deliver this promise and I am committed to ensuring that we increase access to secondary education for our children.”

“We are going to upgrade Kumasi airport to international status. We are going to rehabilitate Sunyani Airport. We are going to build aerodromes in Cape Coast, in Ho, in Koforidua and in Bolga to enhance domestic aviation serving all our regional capitals,” these were all not backed by tangible time-lines.

National Theatre
Planning to build a second national theatre in Kumasi with loan from Turkish Exim Bank was another promise he made adding that drawings have been done and land provided by the Asantehene but the time for commencement was not mentioned.

“It is my hope that this year we cut the sod for the beginning of the reconstruction of railways in this country.  We cannot continue to carry all cargo by road. 95 percent of our cargo is carried on our roads. It put pressure on the roads.

“The targets are the western and eastern corridors. Eastern corridor rail line is tied in to the Boankra Inland Port and also the northern parts including Burkina Faso. We are committed to this project and I am sure it will take off this year.”

STX Dead!
Issues that sent governments into opposition elsewhere do have a place in Ghana’s electoral  landscape otherwise there was no way the NDC would have survived in 2012 with a baggage of unfulfilled promises.

Elsewhere, the one-time NHIS premium and STX Korea Housing deal as well as the failure to build 50 schools as promised would have been enough to send them to opposition.

The President admitted that the once talked about STX housing project that would have provided homes for security agencies particularly the police, was abandoned because the partners in the deal were quarreling.

Interestingly, the President did not mention any housing plans or schemes for the security agencies and rather said the government had tasked SSNIT to complete the affordable housing project left behind by the Kufuor administration while he encouraged private entities to build more houses for the people.

The political parties just before the elections in 2012 were virtually promising freebies and President Mahama and his NDC featured prominently in this.
However, with reality check, the President said “You cannot continue to give freebies when you don’t have the income to be able to support it. And so, that’s the challenge we’re faced with.”

“We have a deficit. Our expenditure exceeds our income at the beginning of 2013 by 12%. We were spending more 12% of GDP every year than we earn. And so you need to balance out your expenditure and income.”

“If I could make energy cheap, I would do so. If I could give out free fuel to the general public, I would do so. Governance is a very difficult business but because we are taking good decisions, we are going to benefit in the long run.”

Interesting Times
The  President repeated that he was ‘surprised’ to see the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) head to court over the 2012 general election because “I thought it was the cleanest election we have had.”

However, he quickly blamed the opposition NPP for their inability to perform better in government.

For instance, he tried to say that the economy could have done better had it not been the pendency of the Election Petition. President Mahama specifically said that when the election petition delayed a lot of investor shied away.

He said every investor was playing the ‘wait-and-see’ game and shared the experience of  an investor who was expecting money from South Africa and said that once the court delivered its judgement, the funds arrived after a nail-biting wait.


Posted on;
By William Yaw Owusu
Saturday, January 11, 2013

The impending intraparty elections in the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has been characterized by a semblance of shadowing boxing involving the leading contenders -Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo and Alan Kyerematen.
Nana Akufo-Addo
Even though nobody has come out to declare their intention to contest as flagbearer of the NPP for the 2016 elections, the leading contenders are already ‘sizing up’ each other even before nominations are open.

Nana Akufo-Addo and Alan Kyerematen are set to  ‘lock horns’ again, judging by the actions of their numerous supporters and their body languages.

A third force emerged this week, when Isaac Osei, MP for Subin in the Kumasi Metropolis also entered the race once again.

The lobbying has become intense, with each camp closely monitoring the movement of the other.

The party is yet to elect its regional and national officers, but as it happened in 2012, the two leading contenders are taking no chances in ensuring that their candidates are better marketed to the delegates - which they are doing stealthily through proxies.

Alan’s Gesture
Alan was in ‘full gear’ during New Year’s festivities when he ‘showed love’ to inmates of the Osu Children’s Home in Accra by donating assorted food items to them.

Alan Kyerematen
He said after the donation that “I will still be actively involved in politics. As a member of the NPP, I believe the people are waiting to put the party back into power in 2016 and to provide the same kind of progressive, constructive and the forward-looking leadership that we gave over the eight years we were in power”.

Giving the strongest hint yet of his intention to contest the hot seat, Mr Kyerematen told Adom FM’s ‘Dwaso Nsem’ on Thursday that “the issue is not about who leads the NPP; the issue is how we work together as a unified party to win power in 2016.

“Nana Akufo-Addo and I are not bigger than the NPP. We need to build a strong party to be able to win the elections. Neither Nana nor Alan can do that alone unless we unite”.

He said Ghanaians are “yearning for NPP to return to power to end the socio-economic hardships under the Mahama-led administration” and “we can’t afford to disappoint them”.

Mr. Kyerematen also cautioned that the NPP risks losing the 2016 general elections if the petty internal wrangling and factionalism in the party is not quelled.

Nana’s Message
Not much activity has been seen in the camp of Nana Akufo-Addo except a Christmas and later a New Year’s message he released from London where he is currently vacationing.

In the message, Nana Akufo-Addo urged Ghanaians to “welcome 2014 with renewed optimism,” saying “I know 2013 had its fair share of disappointments for many of us. But, by God's grace, we sailed through to its end.

In all that we do, let us put our nation first. Let us work harder and better, individually and collectively, to make our economy healthier and our nation stronger.”

Nana Akufo-Addo also said “let us pray for those who lead us so that they may find the humility, compassion, competence and confidence to serve us and serve us well.

“Let us all protect our integrity, serve our nation with selflessness, and keep our focus on the greater good, which is to strive and strive to create a free and prosperous society of opportunities for every Ghanaian, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, or social status.”

Nana’s Clarion Call
Commenting on a successful party elections so far, Nana Akufo-Addo congratulated all those who participated in the contest and asked the ‘winners’ to work with the losers

He said “The party should be motivated by "the destiny of our dear country and how to enhance the lives of ordinary Ghanaians to keep striving for power.

"Let us stay united even as we compete amongst ourselves. We cannot compromise on the unity of the party if we are not to compromise on the victory that we seek. We must, therefore, see these internal contests as but a necessary re-organisation process that we must first go through.

"Let us keep it clean and convivial so that we can all get back together, to think together, work together and secure victory together in 2016", Akufo-Addo encouraged

Doctors Kofi Konadu Apraku and Kobbina Arthur Kennedy at a point in time declared their intentions and are also lacing their boots to enter the flagbearer race.

The Retirement Saga
Mr. Osei came with a bang when initially, the media reported that he had asked Nana Akufo-Addo who has contested on the NPP ticket twice already to retire from politics.

Isaac Osei
The former Cocobod Chief Executive sought to set the records straight when he said later that his comment was misconstrued to suit the house style of the media house which had reported the issue.

“I think, at the moment, Nana Addo has transcended politics and has moved into the realm of statesmanship. He’s become a statesman. If I was to advise Nana Addo, I’ll say that let his legacy be that.”

The Subin MP noted that, he is in no position to decide the political future of Nana Akufo-Addo whom he says has the development of Ghana at heart.

“I cannot force Nana Addo to retire from politics, he is an elder and knows what is good for him,” he stressed.

The minefield
As usual, the name-calling and tagging appears to persist as the perceived camps try to outdo one another.

Paul Afoko, one of the stalwarts who want to become NPP National Chairman, has said he is not contesting the position to promote the presidential ambitions of Mr. Kyerematen.

He said he was in the race to promote unity of the party and also ensure that the party is able to recapture power from the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

“I am not contesting for the position with pre-conceived ideas to push any particular aspirant as the party's flag bearer,” he said, adding that he wanted to turn NPP into an election-winning machine again irrespective of who becomes flag bearer for the 2016 election.

Dr. K.K. Apraku
Kwabena Agyei Agyapong, who is vying for General Secretary, has also said he would not be doing the bidding of Mr. Kyeramaten, but rather would fight to get the grass root empowered so that NPP becomes very attractive in 2016.

"I have always maintained that politics is about service and sacrifice but not a lot of people in the party see it that way. That was what people like the late B. J. Da Rocha taught us when young people like myself joined the party. It is not the same these days and I see that the spirit of voluntarism is dying in our ranks,” he said on Oman FM’s Boiling Point last Thursday night.

Incumbent General Secretary Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie aka Sir John, who is seeking re-election, is also in campaign mood; and so is Yaw Buaben Asamoah, another stalwart of the party who also wants Sir John’s seat.

Sir John appeared to have stepped on a few toes when he told Radio XYZ on Thursday that his support for Nana Akufo-Addo’s presidential bid did not proscribe the future ambitions of other aspirants.
“I have said that I believe that Nana Akufo-Addo will be an excellent President in 2016 and I think that I stand by that. That is not to say that the door is locked or shut against those who may be interested in future in 2020 or 2024.”

Friday, January 10, 2014


President Mahama
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By William Yaw Owusu
Friday, January 10 2014

President John Dramani Mahama says he cannot go about arresting public officials simply because they are deemed to be corrupt.
“I cannot do that. We live in a democracy. In an unconstitutional government, I would have arrested them and kept them safely and investigated them.”
Addressing journalists at the Flagstaff House, Accra to mark the 1st Anniversary on his election as President last Tuesday, Mr. Mahama was specifically asked about his commitment towards the fight against corruption which many Ghanaians agree, has permeated every fibre of late.
“We exist under a constitution now. Ghana has gone through the period of revolutionary justice where if an allegation is made, you just go and pick people and lock them up and then spend time to investigate it.”
GYEEDA Stinker
He said “As President I can’t do that now. All the allegations in GYEEDA, I cannot go and catch them and lock them in Nsawam (Prisons) while the investigation and prosecution goes on.”
“But you notice that when Ghanaians see the people against whom those allegations are made are walking in the streets; they say the man is walking! Nothing has been done! The President is not doing anything!”
He asked Ghanaians to “have tolerance for the system to work,” adding “now, I have to go through the processes and the Attorney General and EOCO are working on the cases that we have.”
President Mahama said “Even while the trial is going on, if you see them on the streets it is because they must have their day in court. We will see how things happen.”
He said the government was pursuing what he called “a retrieve of monies that have been lost” and the AG would “be updating the media on how much has been taken back,” but fell short of giving timelines for the retrieval process.
The president however emphasized that corruption “amounts to mass murder. It deprives the government of resources to provide the needed infrastructure for the people,” he said.

GYEEDA Fairytale
President Mahama appeared to explain the circumstances leading to the loss of millions of taxpayer’s money to fraudulent public officials, “I must say that the major problem with GYEEDA was institutional weakness, lack of systems.”
“They (GYEEDA) were lucky to get a huge budget from Communication Service Tax for skills development.”
He said that even though GYEEDA had been in existence for sometime “We delayed in putting the legislative framework and putting in place the systems of accountability and transparency. While they were commanding huge contracts, they did not have the institutional capacity to ensure accountability in those projects.”
“We have taken a bold step. I have asked the AG’s Department and EOCO to prepare the dockets for prosecution. They kept updating me on a fortnightly basis and I am sure you will see some action on GYEEDA.”
He said “Even the AG has called the service providers to repay those monies and has entered into agreements with them to refund the monies over a period of time.”

SADA Debacle
The President said he had received the report on the widespread corruption that rattled the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA, a project meant to improve the livelihoods of people from the northern part of the country, adding “Some instructions have gone out to retrieve some monies so the AG will be working on that.”
“I want to restate my commitment to fighting corruption. I don’t have any qualms when it comes to the fight against corruption,” he said.
Corruption Debate
He said even though corruption “Is an issue we cannot stop to talk about,” he would not accept the fact that such a serious issue is politicized anytime it was debated saying “Corruption is corruption whether under Rawlings, Kufuor, Mills or Mahama.”
“I don’t believe in segmenting corruption. It is no use turning corruption into a political battle,” he said, adding “As President, it is not important under whose tenure which acts of corruption took place. Every case of corruption from any government its my duty to deal with it.”
“We cannot pick and choose. Unfortunately this has been the discourse in our media. It doesn’t solve the problem of corruption. I have said I am committed. If the allegations are made I will investigate them. If they are real we will deal with them.”
He said “A lot of corruption occurs because of systems weaknesses and institutional failures. We can’t allow people to indulge in corruption and then we spend the taxpayers money to go after them and prosecute them.”
President Mahama said he prefers to tighten the administrative loopholes that allowed public officials to dip their hands into the national purse.
He said the AG has been mandated to take any Auditor General’s Report that comes up and prosecute instances of serious corruption.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014


President Mahama on his first anniversary

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By William Yaw Owusu
Wednesday, January 8, 2013

President Mahama has tasked Merchant Bank and SSNIT to retrieve the debt owed by Engineers & Planners, a company managed by his junior brother Ibrahim Mahama.

The President vehemently denied allegation that he intervened as Vice President when Merchant Bank was pressing to retrieve its debts from A&E and other debtors and subsequently parried accusations of conflict of interest.

“The SSNIT and Merchant Bank should put in a taskforce to retrieve their debts. Engineers & Planners must pay their loans. If you own a bank go and pay!”

Addressing journalists at the Flagstaff House, Accra to mark the 1st Anniversary on his election as President, Mr Mahama said “Engineers and Planners is a corporate entity. Ibrahim who is my junior brother is the owner but I do not owe a single share in that company.”

The President admitted that when he was Vice President, the presidency’s attention was drawn to the Merchant Bank situation and he sat in a meeting arranged by then President John Atta Mills but there was no obstacles placed in the way of the bank in retrieving its debts from customers.

“I became President in July 2012 and I could have done things using executive power. I do not have any interest in Engineers and Planner,” Mahama sharply dressed in a dark suit and blue tie added.

Family Affair
In what can be seen as warding off the various allegations leveled against him and his government, President Mahama dismissed criticisms that he was running a family government.

 “I do not know where this family and friends is coming from. I have 18 siblings; we are 19, I am the 19th person but not one of them is in my government,” the president who endeavored to be frank with his answers said.

‘Kofi Dubai’ Adventure
Justifying why he went on holidays to Dubai during the Christmas Holidays, President Mahama said “It is important to take a rest from time to time. I believe everybody must take a leave just to recharge your batteries.”

He added humorously that  some public officials feared to go on leave ‘because of what they are sitting on.’

“I received an invitation from the ruler of Dubai. It wasn’t a wasted occasion. We are putting in administrative measures to ensure that everyone goes on leave. It helps to promote good governance.”

The President said during the trip he was able to meet the ruler where they had strategic meetings and promised that based on the discussions the United Arab Emirate was sending a team of investors to Ghana to assess investment opportunities but did not mention which areas they were coming to focus.

He also said he left Ghana in the capable hands of his Vice, Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur and did not have any worries at all.

President’s Ratings
He said he could not rate his performance like his predecessor the Late President Mills did saying “I shy away from rating myself. It is for the people of Ghana to do.”

“President Mills was a teacher and was used to awarding marks so maybe that was why he awarded himself 80 per cent in his first year in office.”
He said it was up to the media to conduct what he called ‘scientific research’ to ascertain whether he performed to the satisfaction of the public.

On terrorism, the President said “we are all open to terror attacks. We have to continue to talk about it in order to find solutions to the problem.
He said Ghana will continue to position itself in order to respond to eventual terror attacks.

STX Failed
The President admitted that the once talked about STX housing project that would have provided homes for security agencies particularly the police, was abandoned.

Interestingly, the President did not mention any housing plans or schemes for the security agencies.

He rather said the government had tasked SSNIT to complete the affordable housing project left behind by the Kufuor administration and put them on sale while he takes steps to build more houses for the people.

Galamsey Fight
He said the government was not relenting in the fight against illegal mining popularly called Galamsey and hinted that about 5,000 foreigners had been deported for engaging in illegal mining.

He said the government has plans to reclaim all lands as a result of activities of illegal mining and also restore all polluted water bodies and by that way, it was going to provide employment for the people.

Numerous Fires
President Mahama said the time has come for the public to make fire safety in home and offices a priority.

“We must make fire prevention a part of our daily lives,” he said and added that it was not prudent for him to fire heads of the Ghana National Fire Service any time there was fire outbreak.