Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Thursday October 04, 2018
Claims by opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu-Nketia that Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has been using Ghana National Gas Company (GNGC) helicopters for his trips has turned out to be false.
At an NDC news conference in Accra on Tuesday, Asiedu Nketia made a spurious allegation that when Dr. Bawumia visited flood victims in the northern regions last month following the Bagre Dam spillage in neighbouring Burkina Faso, the Vice President used one of Ghana Gas helicopters which is a subject under investigation.
DAILY GUIDE checks revealed that the Vice President actually used GHF 696 belonging to the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) which is different from the four Ghana Gas Z-9EH helicopters believed to be in the custody of the military.
Later yesterday, NPP Director of Communications, Yaw Buaben Asamoa (MP) confirmed in a news release that the NDC scribe peddled “speculative half-truths and outright lies concocted in the pot of his febrile imagination.”
“One of the biggest lies told by the NDC General Secretary was that His Excellency the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, in visiting flood victims to distribute relief items, used a helicopter from the Ghana National Gas Company. Lie, big lie.
“On the contrary, the Vice President used a Ghana Air Force helicopter with identity mark GHF 696. That craft is totally different in make and model from the “Z-9EH” model craft that the Ghana National Gas Company is purported to have purchased and which acquisition is the subject of a forensic audit.”
The four Z-9EH helicopters, brought in from China for surveillance by Ghana Gas during the previous Mahama-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration at the total cost of $100 million ($25m each) was commissioned by then President John Mahama in September 2015.
According to a forensic audit report, “the helicopters purchased from China National Aero Technology Import and Export Corporation (CATIC), have never been used for the purpose of their purchase, causing $54,800,000 financial loss to the state.”
It also said a loss of $5,958,366.76 was incurred because “equipment for the helicopters were not delivered even though it was part of the contract price” while another loss of $300,000 being “ab initio training cost not fully utilized for its intended purpose,” was caused bringing the total to $61,058,366.76.
The report then mentioned former Ghana Gas Board Chairman, Prof. Kwesi Botchwey and other members like Dr. George Sipa-Adja Yankey who was the CEO of the state-owned company, Eric Yankah, Thomas Manu and Dr. Valerie Sawyerr, a former deputy Chief of Staff as those to be held responsible.
At the news conference, the NDC scribe said “it is on record that those helicopters are stationed at the Ghana Airforce base being actively used by the Ghana Air Force and that it was one of these helicopters that was used recently to convey the Vice President Dr. Bawumia to Wa when he went to distribute relief items to flood victims which have turned out to have been expired relief items for which his brother-in-law, the Deputy National Coordinator have been suspended.”
He added “this so-called forensic audit report alleges that the Ghana National Gas Company under the previous NDC government caused financial loss to the state by purchasing helicopters which cannot be found, that there was some loan to Ghana Gas Company, a component of which was for the procurement of helicopters. Then these fake auditors go there then produce a report that those helicopters cannot be found and then it is widely publicised as if the previous management of the Ghana Gas Company has taken money meant for the purchase of helicopters and these helicopters cannot be found anywhere.”