Today, I share part of a presentation made by Bright Simons, Honorary Vice President of IMANI Africa, last week on Newsfile. He analysed issues arising about accountability and transparency in procurement for the controversial National Cathedral.

Often, even very serious issues on crime and officialdom misconduct are raised in the media but left to die without the necessary sustained advocacy for action, remedial or otherwise.
I doubt Ghanaians find this okay if these issues flagged by Bright Simons are what they are.

Yes, I doubt Ghanaians are seriously okay with this. But like the Agyapa gold rip-off-plan, we are quiet after experts and CSOs got the media discussing it. The Government insists it will get it done regardless of the groundswell of angry disapproval by citizens.

In a statement attributed to a foreigner said to have expertise in the sector, he thinks it stinks and makes no business sense.

Managing Editor of the Insight newspaper, Kwesi Pratt Jnr. has been asking just what is wrong with us!
Display a screenshot of the report and do a summary:

He disturbed that “Ghana is the largest producer of gold in Africa today. We produce gold more than South Africa. We are the fifth largest producer of gold in the world but look at the sufferings of our people. Why? Because when you look at our gold industry, Ghanaians don’t have more than three per cent interest in gold production in this country. It means 97 per cent of the interest in gold is in foreign hands. How can you develop? Why would you not have these problems?”.

He is angry about a certain “Foreign Exchange Retention Agreement” the Bank of Ghana has with the mining companies allowing them to keep as much as 98% of the gold revenue abroad.

The procurement law is completely violated in a single-source deal with a single architect who must receive up-front 12% of the cost of some 7 or more massive and expensive projects and is said to ultimately potentially bag some $300 million from one country. Is this the same NPP that told us single-source procurement was a criminal means of looting the state coffers?

As a lawyer, I could lose my license if I charge more than the approved rates for my services. In fact, I can’t practice, sign a legal document or be given a contract for legal services if I am not licensed to practice in Ghana.

Is it true this architect got a job here at a time he was not registered as required by the profession? Some have asked how we manage to pay $22 million for the design of the controversial National Cathedral when the cost of the architectural design for the world’s tallest tower – the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, twice taller than the Eiffel Tower, said to cost $1.8 million dollars?

That’s My Take

Samson Lardy Anyenini