Professor Stephen Adei has called for swift punishment for persons whose actions have led to the wasting away of some 350 vehicles procured by the Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC).
While congratulating the Joy News investigation team, whose assiduous work has brought the issue to the fore, the educationist and Chair of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) also asked for a firm action to bring the perpetrators to book.
“I want to congratulate those who did this work. They have done very professional work. This is what the media must do to get the facts out. Those who have cost financial loss be made to pay for it. Somebody must be held accountable,” he said on the Joy Super Morning Show Tuesday.
A Joy News investigation has revealed that the cost of 350 vehicles procured in 2016 by the MASLOC for private transport operators cost the state over GHS18 million.
This is higher than the market price of the vehicles from the same supplier.
The 350 vehicles are parked in the National Security yard behind the Accra International Conference Centre in Accra.
Some of the salon cars have been completely covered with weeds.
The vehicles are comprised of 100 33-seater Isuzu buses, 100 Chevy Sparklite Salon Cars and 150 Chevy Aveo salon cars.
Prof. Adei is equally questioning the motivation of government for acceding to fulfil its contractual obligation when it is clear that the contract is fraught with irregularities.
“I am quite surprised that if a contract is tainted with corruption it is being paid at its face value.” For instance, Prof. Adei objects to the tax waivers granted the supplier of the vehicles.
Sounding very surprised he said, “We are not hearing anything on the taxes which were not paid. I am shocked that it is being paid. I don’t think that think that anybody will do that in their own private company. Ministry of finance must revoke the conditional tax waiver.”
Joy News' checks with the Ghana Revenue Authority confirmed that the company did not pay duty on the vehicles it supplied to MASLOC.
According to the Ghana Revenue Authority, the duty on the 350 vehicles amounted to GHS10,500,000.
Further investigation revealed that the Ministry of Finance had written to waive the duty for the company pending a Parliamentary approval, which did not happen.
Joy News' investigation, however, reveals the company was not entitled to a duty waiver according to the terms of the contract.
Prof Adei has also bemoaned the high level of corruption in the country despite Ghana’s good showing at the 2018 corruption Perception Index [CPI] and has called for concerted efforts to deal with it.
“There is no doubt at all that in recent years corruption is very high in Ghana and growing. It will require concerted effort to deal with corruption,” he told Daniel Dadzie, host of the Joy Super Morning Show.