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26.10.2004 Regional News

Ayi Bonte, Okuley Nortey In Big Pre-Mix Fuel Deal!

By Palaver

... Edumadze, Horner Sam fingered ...Aliu Mahama's Office mentioned Accra, Oct 25, Palaver -- THE NPP MP for Odododiodoo constituency and Minister of State in charge of Fisheries, Nii Bi Ayi Bonte, who is also the Chairman of the NPP's Ministerial Committee on Premix Fuel Administration and Distribution for Canoe Fishermen, and his Deputy, Mr. Okuley Nortey, NPP MP for Ablekuma Central, have for the umpteenth time been named as the centre of a big corruption ring involving the diversion of hundreds of thousands of litres of premix fuel valued in the hundreds of millions of cedis meant for canoe fishermen in the Greater Accra, Central, Western and Volta Regions.

In a formal and official report dated March 24, 2004, titled 'Indiscipline, Mismanagement and Corruption in Premix Administration', written to the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Major Courage Quashigah (Rtd.) by Mr. Papa Kojo Mbir, a member of the Ministerial Committee responsible for the Western and Central Regions and intercepted by the Ghana Palaver, the two leading NPP members have been accused of fraudulently allowing the registration of fake new outlets into premix distribution, the likelihood of the perpetrators utilising the outlets to steal monies belonging to the fishing communities and creating avenues for the premix fuel to be sold on the black market.

Papa Kojo Mbir states in the report that on 22nd December 2003,105 "Special Orders" were fraudulently raised and placed in the system with the knowledge of Ayi Bonte and Okuley Nortey. When later challenged by some members of the Ministerial Committee, the two responded that the unofficial orders emanated from the Office of the Vice President.

Mr. Mbir stated further that the 105 "Special Orders" were not issued to any outlets in particular as required by the regulations and proceeded to explain as follows:

(i) 30 "Special Orders" were issued to the Greater Accra Regional Coordinating Committee (GARCC), but no such Committee exists. Messrs Ayi Bonte and Okuley Nortey consigned the 30 orders, which amounted to 90,000 gallons of premix fuel, to themselves and sold them on the black market.

(ii) 25 "Special Orders" were consigned to the Western Regional Coordinating Committee (WRCC), but only 10 loads got to some selected outlets. These outlets were ordered to pay ¢49 million each to the WRCC, with the consignees making a profit of ¢14 million on the 10 loads. The remaining 15 loads must have found their way on to the black market, and Mrs. Horner Sam, the Deputy Western Regional Minister who is in charge of the premix schedule, and Mr. Cash Abbey, the Office Clerk in the Premix Office, should be held responsible.

(iii) None of the 25 orders of 75,000 gallons consigned to the Central Region got to the region. All of them must therefore have been sold on the black market. Mr. Mbir holds the Central Regional Minister, Isaac Edumadze, and the Coordinator of the CRCC, Mustapha Mohammed, responsible for the diversion.

(iv) With regards to the 25 orders consigned to the Volta Region, Papa Mbir would hold the Premix Ministerial Committee member responsible for the Volta Region responsible. He challenges the Volta Region member for proof of receipt and distribution of the allocation because according to him, the Volta Region Committee had been dissolved and oversight responsibility vested in the National Committee member responsible for the Volta Region.

Papa Kojo Mbir has described the December 22, 2003 "Special Orders" deal as "a massive fraud--by all standards--and unprecedented in the annals of premix administration".

It is not known what Minister Quashigah did with Papa Mbir's report.

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