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25.01.2005 General News

Minister Accused of Nepotism

By Chronicle
Minister Accused of  Nepotism
JAN 25, 2005 GENERAL NEWS

THE Greater Accra Regional Minister designate, Sheikh I. C. Quaye has been lambasted by AMA insiders as a tinhorn tyrant whose gallery of inactions as well as seeming conflict of interest in the award of contracts are responsible for the corruption that has engulfed waste management in the Greater Accra Region.

Key on the list of accusations is the Minister's alleged failure to comply with persistent requests from several Assemblymen in Accra that waste management contracts should be reviewed as a way of tightening the knot on their efficiency.

The Minister's long silence on the review of the contracts has already sparked speculation that he is afraid such a decision could affect his brother, Mohammed Quaye who owns MOHAS Waste Collection.

Mohammed Quaye was awarded a waste management contract in 2001. Investigations have revealed that as at June last year, some of the contractors had been over paid by the Regional Ministry despite the fact that they had not fully discharged their obligations under the contract signed with them.

When The Chronicle contacted the Minister via phone for comments, he turned the tables on the NDC and said he suspected that they were behind such allegations against him because they envied the remarkable change he had brought in the sanitation of Greater Accra Region.

He said gone were the days when the NDC was paying only the NDC contractors and added that under his administration, he paid everybody irrespective of their political affiliation.

Hon. Quaye noted that there was nothing wrong for his brother to be a waste contractor since he also had to make a living.

“What is wrong if my brother is making a living out of the contract, why, shouldn't he eat? People are annoyed because I have done better than a lot of people; go and see how my brother has made Alajo clean.”

He noted that even though the AMA had entered into a contract with his brother in 2001, his brother had been with the Waste Management for over 30 years.

Whilst the Minister was busy trumpeting his achievements, a couple of Assembly members gathered on AMA's veranda were also murmuring that he could not work towards the achievement of the President's policy to accelerate development.

The Assembly members noted that even though sanitation budget had doubled since 2001, the sanitation situation had not changed since most of the contractors were not competent.

They stressed that the circumstances under which Mohammed was given a waste contract was questionable since he had only one truck that could collect refuse in only Alajo Area.

The paper learnt that Sheikh Quaye sought to control the AMA in terms of budget since the tenure of the former Chief Executive of AMA, Mr. Solomon Ofei Darko. The members said the Minister clandestinely waged a war against him,claiming he was inefficient, instigated his removal from office and lobbied for the current AMA Boss, Mr. Adjiri Blankson.

Further, the paper learnt that Mr. Blankson's romance with the regional minister was too cozy for an honest appraisal of each other's competence. The Assembly members reiterated that in the last quarter of last year, he released ¢6.5billion of the HIPC money to refuse contractors to enable them collect refuse efficiently but Accra was more engulfed by dirt than ever, adding that he could not bring pressure to bear on the waste contractors.

Some of the assembly members told The Chronicle that they were of the view that with effective planning, waste management could be carried out efficiently and at the same time generate employment for the youth.

The chairman on the Sanitation Committee, Mr Samuel Addo told the paper during an interview that they were seeking a review of the waste management contract AMA had with the contractors and possibly introduce the community waste pre-collection programme.

Mr. Addo said the committee comprised four members of the Assembly, the Director of Waste Management, Director of Legal, Director of Treasury and Member Secretary.

He said they would assess the asset holdings of each contractor and identify whether the contractor had the capacity to perform his job before a new contract was awarded.

“All matters on solid waste management would be put on board for the committee to deal with and come out with a final paper.”

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