The Minority in Parliament says Engineers & Planners, a company owned by the president's brother must bear the full cost of machinery and equipment it improperly received for the dredging of the Odaw River.

Addressing a news conference in Accra Thursday, Minority spokesperson on Local Government, Kwesi Ameyaw Kyeremeh claimed the equipment were procured solely for distribution to Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies and not to be given to private companies.

Giving out equipment procured with public funds to a private company to work with is wrong. It is immaterial that the work was done for the benefit of the state, the Minority insists.

Shortly after the June 3, 2015 twin fire and flood disaster, a major dredging exercise was undertaken to desilt the Odaw River which was said to be choked at the time.

There was controversy however when it became apparent that the company undertaking the dredging, Engineers & Planners, was using machines and equipment procured by the state.

Critics raised the possibility of conflict of interest in the release of the equipment to Ibrahim Mahama's company.

A leaked document showed that the equipment had been released under the authority of the Local Government Ministry, an action Kwesi Ameyaw Kyeremeh believes was inappropriate.

According to him, these assemblies were hoping for newly procured equipment to be released to them so the cost involved can be deducted from the District Assemblies Common Fund.

"We cannot give the assemblies used equipment. Which assembly is going to take used equipment and what is the guarantee that these equipment will be in good shape?" Ameyaw Kyeremeh asked.

He charged the Local Government Ministry to make Engineers and Planners pay for the full cost of procuring the equipment.

But in a reaction, the Deputy Local Government Minister Nii Lante Vanderpuye said the call by the Minority is "misplaced."

"It is a rehash of all the things they have said in the past," he said.

Contrary to claims that the equipment will be distributed to individual assemblies, Nii Lante Vanderpuye told Joy News the equipment will be put in a central pool for use by all assemblies.

"There is no particular district assembly's name on any of the machinery," he pointed out, adding, the claims by the Minority are nothing more than an attempt to impugn the integrity of the president.

He explained that the AMA did not have the expertise to use the equipment for the dredging. He therefore does not find anything wrong with releasing the equipment to Engineers & Planners which had the expertise and was ready to dredge for free to do so. 

He said when Parliament resumes sitting, the minority is free to ask a question on the floor and the Local Government Minister will provide all the answers.

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