Thursday, February 19, 2015


By William Yaw Owusu
Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Ministry of Power has issued a news statement seeking to justify the expenditure of a whopping $1,745,159 (GH¢5,584,508) at current exchange rate) on 38 luxury vehicles by the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum (MoE).

The NDC government, is trying to blame the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) for the expenditure because according to them, it was the NPP when in government initiated the move.

Interestingly, there was no budgetary allocation for the purchases per the Auditor-General’s Report for the vehicles bought from money meant for extending electricity to 1,200 communities under the Multi-Donor Budgetary Support Programme between 2010 and 2012.

According to the NDC, the move started in 2006, given executive approval in 2007 and approved by Parliament in 2008.

Details of the luxurious vehicles acquired included 20 Ford F150 truck at the cost of $700,769.64, two Grido Ford F150 at $120,949.56 and six Dodge Dakota SLT at $160,645.41.

The rest are three Ford Escape at the cost of $157,645.71, four Lexus LX570 at $438,921.57 as well as three Chrysler 300 at $166,217.13 all totaling $1,745,159.02.

Additionally, there was the purchase of office equipment including heavy duty photocopier all totaling $51,757.39 and the grand total came to $1,796,916.41.

Ministry’s Clarification
A statement titled: “Ministry Of Power Clarifies US Exim Facility And Project Vehicles” issued in Accra yesterday and signed by Edward Bawa, Head of Communications at the ministry said “the attention of the Ministry of Power has been drawn to publications in the media about project vehicles purchased for the implementation of $350 million Weldy Lamont Associates Self Help Electrification Project (SHEP) facility.”

According to Mr. Bawa, “the $350 million US EXIM facility was a sole sourced agreement,” adding “negotiations for the said facility started in 2006.”

“The facility was given Executive approval by the then President of the Republic of Ghana on 17th July, 2008. Subsequently, Parliament gave its approval for same on 15th August, 2008,” he said.

Project-related materials
He said under the facility which was being executed by Weldy Lamont Associates, 85% of all project-related materials, including vehicles, was to be “procured from manufacturers in the United States.

The release said the public should take notice that the U.S. EXIM facility helps create and maintain U.S. jobs by financing the sale of U.S. exports primarily to emerging markets throughout the world by providing loan guarantees, export credit insurance and direct loans.

2009 & 2010
“In line with the agreement, 85% of all project-related materials including all vehicles were procured in U.S. models. The said vehicles, which were negotiated as part of the project prior to 2009, were delivered in 2010.

Mr. Bawa said “in early 2009 when a new Minister of Energy assumed office, he carried out a Value for Money audit as a condition precedent for contract effectiveness.”

“After four rounds of hectic negotiations between the Government of Ghana Team and the contractor, Weldy Lamont which ended on 30 July, 2009, the price of materials was reviewed downwards, leading to savings of US$46 million,” he claimed.
He said “this resulted in the construction of new substations in Kintampo and Mim as well as the expansion of the Sunyani substation.  Local content was also increased from the originally agreed 15% figure to 30%.  This enhanced the participation of Ghanaian-owned companies.”

“Originally, the project was intended to benefit 1,200 communities. Following the Value for Money audit in 2009 and reduction in scope of work in some communities, among others, it was expanded to cover 2,130 communities in Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, Western and Central Regions. So far, about one thousand communities have been connected and the project is ongoing.”

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