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23.08.2005 General News

Report on ¢87bn GT contract deal missing?

Ghanaian Chronicle

The minister of Communications, Albert Kan Dapaah, has denied receiving a BNI report on the investigation conducted into the ¢87 billion-contract deal at Ghana Telecom.

The minister nevertheless congratulated The Chronicle for coming out with the report and said it would serve as a lead for him to also conduct thorough investigations into the case.

The minister called the paper to react to the story, said since he had not seen the said BNI report, he had called immediately for his chief director to find out if indeed, a report of that nature had been brought to the ministry, but he also had denied any knowledge of it.

Mr Dapaah further said he had called the board chairman of Ghana Telecom, Nana Antwi Bosiako also, who expressed concern about the said BNI report since nobody from the state security agency had spoken to him on the subject.

According to the minister, the board chairman was worried that nobody from the BNI had called to speak to him before coming out with a report that had implicated him.

The minister, who is also the Member of Parliament for Efigya Sekyere East in the Ashanti region, also said though he was yet to conduct investigations into the story carried by The Chronicle, it was impossible for Ghana Telecom to award such contract without any recourse to tender.

“It was impossible for such a thing to be done,” he said

When the paper told him that it was the supply of the telegraphic trees that went to tender, not the treatment aspect of it, the minister said he had spoken to the chief executive of GT, who assured him that the treatment went on tender and that he should not have any cause to disbelieve what the CEO was telling him.

The minister further said he was not directly involved in the day-to-day administration of Ghana Telecom, but quite remembered that somebody had petitioned him about Byes and Ways' ability to treat the poles, so he directed that officials went to inspect the facilities of the company in Kumasi.

He said it was based on this that a sub-committee of the tender board went to Kumasi to inspect Byes and Ways' facilities.

He said contrary to what the BNI report was saying, Nana Antwi Boasiako was not with the team that went to Kumasi since he was not a member of the sub-committee.

According to him, unless somebody could prove to him that though the board chairman was not in Kumasi, he worked behind the scene for the contract to be given to Jeffrey Amponsa of Byes and Ways.

He said apart from somebody giving evidence to prove that Nana Boasiako was behind the scene; the respected chief did not do anything fishy for the award of the contract.

The minister said in this age of 'zero tolerance for corruption', it was impossible for such a fishy deal to go on and that nobody would risk such a thing.

He was quick to add that he was not defending anybody and he will also conduct his own investigations into the case.

The deputy western regional minister, Madam Sophia Horner-Sam, last week told The Chronicle that following series of complaints from GT workers in Takoradi about the award of the contract to chemically treat the poles, the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) had instructed the BNI to investigate.

She said the BNI, after its investigation, submitted its report to the RCC, which they also forwarded to the sector ministry in Accra.

The report is headed: Ghana Telecom Company Affairs. Investigations into the alleged fishy deal in award of contract on 300,000 treated poles for nationwide expansion project.